On June 23, 2003, Bush said: “I came to the office of the presidency to solve problems, not to pass them on to future presidents and future generations. I came to seize opportunities instead of letting them slip away.” He was in New York, for the opening swing of his 2004 re-election campaign. This get-the-job-done approach to governing had been a bedrock of Bush’s first presidential race in 2000. The particular line appeared only briefly, though, as a rebuttal to Democrat Al Gore’s Social Security plan. It was only with that New York speech that it became a staple, as the president sought a return to the White House in 2004 and stumped for fellow Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. “It’s definitely part of his self-image to be a doer, and to be a person who throws the long pass and does big things, not just small things,” said Bruce Buchanan, a University of Texas political scientist. The image was effective with voters. It also hinted at Bush’s more sweeping political aspirations. He had hopes of governing in a way that would attract new constituencies into the Republican Party, transforming it into the nation’s dominant political force far beyond his time.
The Atlanta Journal – Constitution
Bush Leaving Some Problems to Successors