The more time goes on, the fewer individual accomplishments of each President get remembered. I would imagine that at this point, most US history books, if they discussed Jimmy Carter at all, probably will discuss his term term briefly in terms of the following blurbs:
2. started process of deregulation
3. Iranian hostage crisis
Maybe, just maybe there’s something about Arabs and Israelis thrown in.
Continuing our broad strokes look at recent presidencies, in a few more years, Reagan will be just:
1. End of stagflation / morning in America
2. Tax cuts
3. Deficits as far as the eye could see
4. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall
5. Iran Contra
GHW won’t really have much. I imagine he’ll be thought of, rightly or wrongly, as Reagan’s third term. He raised taxes slightly but by so little it won’t get a mention. The Soviet Union fell during his term, but nobody really associates GHW as having anything to do with it, or it affecting his administration in a large way. In a few decades, about the only mention of GHW might be the Gulf War.
What about Clinton:
1. Raised taxes
2. Ran surpluses
I imagine two events that happened during his term will get tied to him in some way: Oklahoma City Bombing and the stock market bubble (not that all of it was a bubble).
So what will GW’s term be remembered for?
5. Return of fiscal irresponsibility
That last one might get tied to an economic slowdown and/or housing bubble should the either become a very large problem. A scandal or two (US Attorneys perhaps) might get attached, and its certainly not too late for something else to spiral horribly out of control, Katrina-style. And none of the items on the list look like they’re going to be portrayed in a way that is flattering toward GW. And I can’t think of anything big that will portray GW in a positive light.
But am I missing something? Is there anything big for which GW is going to be remembered well?