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 as of Jan. 15, 2009: $10.6 trillion
Debt when Mr. Bush took office: $5.7 trillion
(Source: U.S. Treasury Dept.)
(Some campaigns refused to disclose the amounts)
(Including Game 3 of the World Series in Yankee Stadium on Oct. 30, 2001)
(Counting the Beijing Olympics as one)
(Source: Dept of Defense as of Jan. 16, 2009)
(Source: Dept. of Defense as of Jan. 16, 2009)
(Nine were awarded posthumously. Four were for service in Iraq, 1 for Afghanistan.)
(The last one was Dec 12, 2008, at Texas A&M)
(That's not counting Camp David visits or bike riding outings)
(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.)
(Including many joint sessions with foreign leaders at home and abroad)
Bill Clinton: 396
George H.W. Bush: 74
Ronald Reagan: 393
Jimmy Carter: 534
Gerald Ford: 382
Richard Nixon: 863
Lyndon Johnson: 960
John Kennedy: 472
Dwight Eisenhower: 1110
Harry S. Truman: 1913
(Source: Senate Historian)
Democrats blocked the practice in the fall of 2007 by keeping the Senate in session even during holiday periods.
(The last was his Farewell Address on Jan. 15, 2009)
(Of which 7 were State of the Union speeches)
Pres. Vicente Fox of Mexico
Pres. Alexander Krasniewski of Poland
Pres. Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines
Pres. Mwai Kibaki of Kenya
Queen Elizabeth II of UK
Pres. John Kufuor of Ghana
(Last of the other 49 to be visited: Rhode Island, June 28, 2007.)
(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
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."
(Source: Presidential Airlift Group)
(Presidential Airlift Group)
By Mark Knoller