President Bush has had a rocky eight years as President, but who ever promised that job would be a cakewalk? The job of President is a demanding job, and stress often ages the President prematurely. Both President Bush and his predecessor, President Clinton, left office looking significantly more aged than the eight years they had spent at the White House.

Contrary to what you may hear from your liberal friends and relatives, President Bush will not go down in history as our worst President. I do believe that he has been the most hated of our Presidents in the past 30 years. I have often been surprised at the burning, visceral hate the left has harbored for him.

Over time, I believe that President Bush will be appreciated more and more, and eventually he will be acknowledged as a good President, though not a great one. History will someday openly give President Bush the credit for replacing two murderous tyrannies with fledgling democracies and freeing 50 million people. We have to look back to the Presidencies of FDR and Truman for any acts of similar magnitude.

President Bush may also be credited with preventing another attack on American soil after September 11th, 2001. Al Qaeda, after having attacked America and Americans for years with relative impunity, is reduced to a scattered handful of fighters huddling in secret and dying of the plague in caves. And for the last seven years, the War on Terror has seen fewer of our servicemen and women die than in previous conflicts. Our military has accomplished more while suffering fewer casualties than at other times of war. Credit may be given to President Bush and the military leaders under him, and the technology we employ, but mostly to the fine men and women of our armed forces.

I can point to two areas where I believe President Bush failed. First, he failed to rein in the growth of government spending. The $700 billion bailout is just the coda of two terms of rampant spending. Yes, I know that it is the House’s responsibility to draft any spending bills, but President Bush could have chosen to sound the clarion call for fiscal responsibility. He did not.

Second, President Bush failed to communicate his message effectively. He isn’t a smooth talker like previous Presidents, but he should have spent more time making sure that his administrative vision was passed on to the people. He should have passed the responsibility of passing on his vision to people who were gifted with the ability to communicate. He also failed to realize just how much the mainstream media loathed him. When he was attacked unfairly, he should have responded to the critics in self-defense, or let his people do it for him.

But with the passing of the Presidency to President Obama, President Bush’s second term in office has come to a close. And this grateful American just has to say it, even if the mainstream media won’t –

Thank you, President Bush, for your service to our country!

For my friend who told me that President Bush wouldn’t hand over the Presidency today, I point out the blindingly obvious: he did. It’s what we do in the United States of America, as opposed to some third-world tin-pot dictatorship. Heaven help us if we ever fall into that category.

But as President Obama took the oath of office, he became the President of my country. No, I didn’t vote for him, and I will probably disagree with much of his agenda, but he will remain my President even while I disagree wholeheartedly with him.

That’s the difference between a mature conservative like myself and the hordes of immature liberals who spent the past eight years crying, “Bush ain’t my President!”