Former President George W. Bush isn’t just painting in his free time these days. On the contrary, he’s been helping build and refurbish health care clinics in Africa that are now finally beginning to provide cervical cancer screenings to at-risk women free of charge -- a cause he’s evidently championed and embraced since leaving the White House.
During a sit-down interview on ABC’s “This Week” with Jonathan Karl on Sunday, Bush (and his wife Laura), discussed their ongoing efforts to combat this deadly and devastating scourge -- a disease that reportedly killed as many as 50,000 African women in 2008 alone, according to the World Health Organization. But that’s not everything they talked about, of course. The conversation briefly touched on subjects as diverse as Bush’s recent interactions with President Obama, the “comprehensive immigration reform” bill currently making its way through Congress, and the former president’s own father’s political legacy:
As always Bush came across as affable, relaxed and good-humored. I also liked how he mentioned he’s “out of politics” for good now and therefore has no desire whatsoever to weigh in on hot political issues (read: gay marriage) that might bring him less-than-favorable headlines if he somehow answered "incorrectly." I don't blame him. That’s probably a smart thing to do not only for his own sanity, but for his post-presidential approval ratings which seem to be on the rise lately (although I suspect he doesn't really care about that). After all, as he says, posterity will determine what his legacy is -- not public opinion polls conducted four short years after he left office.
In any case, Bush strikes me as a deeply humble man who’s proud to have served his country -- and desperately wants to use his fame and influence to serve others. And he seems to be doing just that. By all accounts, his commitment to Africa has been exceptional; indeed, his efforts have saved perhaps tens of millions of lives.
Not bad for a man who supposedly “doesn’t care about black people.”