There are many ways to assess President Bush’s eight years in office. Countless hours of broadcast time and tons of newsprint are being consumed in that pursuit these days.
And you can agree or not with what’s being said and written.
It’s difficult for any of us to convey an objective assessment of the Bush presidency - but numbers come close to offering a bit of unbiased insight.
So here - in no particular order - are some of the numbers that mark the record of the 43rd President of the United States. When no source is cited, the numbers are from the tallies I maintained during day-to-day coverage of President Bush.
National Debt Increase: $4.9 trillion.
National Debt as of Jan. 15, 2009: $10.6 trillion
Debt when Mr. Bush took office: $5.7 trillion
(Source: U.S. Treasury Dept.)
Number Of Political Fund-Raisers Attended By President Bush: 338
Amount Or Money Raised At These Fund-Raisers: $802,586,070
(Some campaigns refused to disclose the amounts)
Number Of Baseball Games Attended: 12
(Including Game 3 of the World Series in Yankee Stadium on Oct. 30, 2001)
Number Of All Sporting Events Attended: 98
(Counting the Beijing Olympics as one)
Number of Cabinet Meetings: 49
Number Of Times President Bush Had Dinner Out At A Restaurant: 21
Medals Of Honor Bestowed By Pres. Bush: 12
(Nine were awarded posthumously. Four were for service in Iraq, 1 for Afghanistan.)
Number Of Commencement Speeches Delivered: 23
(The last one was Dec 12, 2008, at Texas A&M)
Number Of Visits To Camp David: 149, totaling all or part of 487 days.
Number Of Visits To His Texas Ranch: 77, totaling all or part of 490 days.
Number Of Out Of Town Domestic Trips: 609
(That's not counting Camp David visits or bike riding outings)
Number Of Foreign Trips: 49
Number Of Foreign Nations Visited: 75
Number Of Rounds Of Golf Played As President: 24
(The last one on Oct. 13, 2003. President Bush has since explained that he stopped playing golf out of respect for the families of Americans killed in the war in Iraq.)
Number Of Katrina-Related Visits To The Gulf Coast: 18
Number Of Formal, Solo, White House News Conferences: 44
Total Number Of News Conferences: 212
(Including many joint sessions with foreign leaders at home and abroad)
Number Of News Conferences At Which Shoes Were Thrown At Him: 1
Number Of Presidential Pardons: 189
Number Of Commutations Of Sentence: 11
Number Of Recess Appointments: 165
(Source: Senate Historian)
Democrats blocked the practice in the fall of 2007 by keeping the Senate in session even during holiday periods.
Addresses To The Nation: 23
(The last was his Farewell Address on Jan. 15, 2009)
Addresses To Joint Sessions Of Congress: 9
(Of which 7 were State of the Union speeches)
State Dinners For Foreign Leaders: 6
Vetoes: 12, including 1 pocket veto.
(President Bush did not cast his first veto until his sixth year in office - a measure to extend federal funding of stem cell research.)
Bill Clinton cast 37 (not counting line item vetoes)
George H.W. Bush: 44
Vetoes Overridden By Congress: 4
H.R. 1495 - the Water Resources Development Act of 2007
H.R. 2419 - the $289-billion "Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008”
H.R. 6124 - The “Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.”
H.R. 6331 - the “Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.”
Number Of Flights On Air Force One: 1,674
(Source: Presidential Airlift Group)
Number Of Miles Flown On Air Force One: 1,490,698
(Presidential Airlift Group)
By Mark Knoller
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