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The question of who guides Mr. Obama’s next chapter may seem distant to the public. But, as aides to former President Bill Clinton have demonstrated, proximity to an ex-president translates into life at the intersection of wealthy donors, powerful networks and conference circuit perks. And with presidents departing the White House as relatively young men, there are many years to bask in the Oval Office afterglow.
George Washington, the country's first president, finally will have a dedicated place where scholars can study his legacy and that of the founding fathers.
Today, at his estate in Mount Vernon, Va., the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, a $106 million project, opened its doors.
USA Today reports that the library fulfills one of Washington's wishes. In April 1787, he told a friend that he needed a place to accommodate his "military, civil and private papers, which are voluminous and may be interesting."
Neat! Starting Sunday, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston will make the content of five Hemingway scrapbooks available online for the first time, giving fans and scholars the chance to follow the life of one of the 20th century's literary greats from diapers to high school degree.
Hemingway Collection curator Susan Wrynn said much of the content hasn't been made available to the public before and only a few researchers have seen it in its entirety. The fragile leather-bound volumes have been kept in a dark vault for about four decades to keep them from falling apart.
The former U.S. and Arkansas first lady read The Very Hungry Caterpillar at the ceremony Monday to celebrate the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library and Learning Center. The Central Arkansas Library System voted June 27 to name the facility after the longtime children's advocate and potential 2016 presidential candidate.
DALLAS — President Obama has left little mystery about how he views his predecessor. “The failed policies of George W. Bush” wiped away a budget surplus and “squandered the legacy” of bipartisan foreign policy. Mr. Bush put two wars “on a credit card,” led the country away “from our values” and “crashed the economy."
But Mr. Obama will surely say none of that when he helps dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday. Addressing a crowd of Bush supporters and administration veterans, the 44th president will no doubt extoll the virtues of the 43rd president and praise his years of service to the country.
It has become an awkward ritual of the modern presidency that the current occupier of the Oval Office is called upon to deliver a generous historical judgment of the previous tenant. With the opening of each new presidential library, the members of the world’s most exclusive fraternity put aside partisan differences to honor the shared experience of running the nation in difficult times.
More than four years after leaving office, former President George W. Bush has a question for America: So what would you have done?
In a new brick-and-limestone museum, visitors to an interactive theater will be presented with the stark choices that confronted the nation’s 43rd president: invade Iraq or leave Saddam Hussein in power? Deploy federal troops after Hurricane Katrina or rely on local forces? Bail out Wall Street or let the banks fail?
OK, included "Laura Bush" as one of the topics, can we now please delete that one Blake?
Of about 250 bundlers who raised more than $500,000 — counting couples or business associates as one unit — 21 were from Chicago or the suburbs and none were from Obama’s native state, which has been publicly angling for the library. The University of Chicago is waging a covert bid. See the list of Obama’s Illinois super-bundlers at the end of the column; the fourth-quarter list had no local surprises.
Presidential libraries serve as official cultural repositories for the legacies of their namesake commanders in chief. More than 200 years after his death, it's hard to believe that the country's first president, George Washington, still lacks a library devoted to his remarkable life.
Mount Vernon, the Virginia home of Washington, has spent the last several years raising $100 million to construct an official library on its scenic grounds. Organizers announced on Friday — just in time for Presidents Day weekend -- an opening date of Sept. 27.
Former President George W. Bush and the Bush Foundation have worked closely with SMU to make this center – comprised of the library, museum and independent institute – a reality. Bush and former First Lady and alumna Laura Bush, both Dallas residents, have been very active and visual in their support of the center’s presence at SMU.
Both have attended ceremonies, participated in symposia and, in Bush’s case, “dropped by” political science and journalism class lectures.
However, not all reactions to the center have been positive.
I'd Rather Go To Hawaii.
“I want to raise the alarm because I think a presidential museum will inevitably become our university’s highest-profile institution on a national basis,” Political Science Professor Charles Lipson said. “It will not be a disinterested, scholarly institution. It will be advancing a political agenda, funded by President Obama’s political allies, including foreign donors who cannot give money to his presidential campaigns.”
The University of Hawaii has waged a more public campaign to land Obama’s library. The state’s legislature passed a resolution encouraging Obama to put the library in the tropical paradise he called home for most of his first 18 years. Even the Chamber of Commerce is on board, said University of Hawaii Professor Robert Perkinson: “Obama is quite a beloved figure in Hawaii.”