The Independent, January 7, 2008
He is the forgotten leader, scorned by his people, disowned by his party. This week George Bush has a last chance to undo the damage done by his presidency as he begins a Middle East tour
Voters in the United States may have switched their attention to the contest to find his successor, but George Bush will embark on an ambitious nine-day tour of the Middle East tomorrow in a last desperate effort to salvage a legacy from two terms in office overshadowed by a catastrophic foreign policy that has earned him the distinction of being one of the worst presidents in the country's history.
The Bush legacy will not be peace in the Middle East nor an end to conflict in Iraq, but it could be a political earthquake among voters so dismayed by the mess he has made of America's foreign policy and fearful of economic recession that they are deserting his party in droves.
As he prepares to board a plane for Israel and wrap himself in the tattered flag of victory in Iraq, Mr Bush's real legacy to the American people is evident in the disillusionment on display in New Hampshire. Enraged Republicans are switching sides to support the Democrat Barack Obama. Others are backing Mike Huckabee, the maverick Christian conservative hopeful. Both triumphed in the Iowa caucuses on a platform of "change".