Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Planning for the immediate future

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the future, but not in the big, grand way of imagining hovercrafts and robots who wash my dishes or that stuff, but the short term future. Having our first child coming in about four months means several big and exciting changes for us - obviously the baby herself, but also hopefully getting into a house by then and changing our income as my wife stays home and being more selective in our activities and such - it's a lot to be thinking about. And not that we aren't thinking about it, but things like retirement and her college fund and my career ten years from now and all that are kind of pushed into the category of "important, but not important enough to really get lots of attention which has to be focused on these other things first".

And all this made me think of George W. Bush. He is down to three years left in his presidency and while he probably has some significant thoughts and hopes for the big FUTURE, he has the power and position for the short term. What will he do? What can he do? What should he do?

I read this article and it had some interesting thoughts about it. So here are my five questions (Sorry, I'm still a Kilborn fan) about this whole concept:

1) Regardless of anything else, will George W. Bush always be remembered for Iraq and if so, should he put the lion's share off his attention and work for the next three years pushing to make that a "victory"?
2) Is it more important for Bush to use these three years to establish HIS legacy as president or to work at making sure his group (Republicans or more specifically Conservative Republicans) remain in power after he is gone (assuming that there may be times where it is not feasible to work for both of those things at the same time)?
3) With all the time and effort put into issues like the tax code changes and Social Security reform, if Bush does not return to those topics and accomplish something with them, are those then failures simply because all that time and energy has produced nothing?
4) The administration is stating the top two priorities are Iraq and the economy and that they want the federal deficit to be down to no more than $260 billion by 2009. That does not include the costs of Afghanistan and Iraq though. Considering where the economy was when Bush took office, would that seriously be considered to be a "success" in his presidency?
5) If you were Bush and knew that you could accomplish TWO things and two things only between now and the end of your presidency, what would you decide to make those two things be (and please, try to be reasonable - "World Peace" is great and "the Atlanta Braves actually win a World Series" might be fun , but I'm looking for something a bit more realistic. Thanks).

Thanks for reading and answering!