As I was reviewing a Washington Post article I had read this weekend (for a post I wanted to write today), a paragraph seemed to inaccurately portray George W. Bush’s first year in office.Â Writer Scott Wilson held than taking a new tack and blaming his predecessor, President Obama is merely following in that Republican’s footsteps:
Upon entering the White House in 2001, Bush pinned the lackluster economy on his predecessor, using the “Clinton recession” to successfully argue in favor of tax cuts that won some Democratic support.
Now, I don’t recall ever reading then-President Bush blaming Clinton for the economic downturn in 2001.Â But, then again, my primary news source back then was the Los Angeles Times.Â Since the Post reporter took especial care to put the expression, “Clinton recession,” in quotation marks, the then-president (or his team) must have used it.
So, I searched the paper’s archives, but decided not to buy the one article using the expression, “Clinton Recession” from 2001, W’s first year in office.Â That reference was in an opinion piece, ” The Blame Game,” by E. J. Dionne, Jr., not always a reliable source for information on Republicans.Â And from what little information I can find on the article (without signing up for some service), it doesn’t appear W actually used the term.
As it stands right now, there are no news articles in Mr. Wilson’s paper reporting that Bush said what the reporter says he did.Â But, the Post is not the only source of information.Â For those of you with ready access to news databases from 2001 or with better web-sleuthing skills, could you let me know if, after he took office on January 20, 2001, Bush blamed Clinton for the economic downturn during his first year on the job.
If we can’t find anything, then a correction will certainly be in order.Â And we’ll have one more piece of evidence that George W. Bush, despite his many flaws, had far more class than does his successor.