BEHIND THE NEWS: Being George Bush

November 11, 2008 1:02:33 PM PST
I'd love to get inside Pres. Bush's head, just for a few minutes. I am most curious about how he really feels now that, after eight years running the country, the country so overwhelmingly disapproves of him.

Witness the ascension of the man he hosted at the White House yesterday. There are many experts who say Barack Obama could not have been elected had it not been for George W. Bush. Bush set the bar for lack of government experience before coming to the White House; and his two terms, with the unending war and the trillion-dollar deficits, helped create the political environment that was ripe for Obama's theme of "change."

And then today, word that book publishers are lining up to have Laura Bush write her memoirs, but are staying far, far away from approaching the 43rd President for a similar project.

It will be years before that's even thought of because of the President's unpopularity, according to publishing and public relations experts.

Which brings us back to getting inside Mr. Bush's head: What must he think of all this? If it were me, frankly, I'd be devastated. Maybe it's a fragile ego thing. Clearly, the President doesn't have one. I suppose when you're in that office, convinced you're on a mission, you plow ahead, undaunted by the fact that you came to office by a court order and with fewer votes than your opponent, and unphased that the number of people who agree with you is dwarfed by the number of people who don't.

Today, Mr. Bush was in New York, keynoting Veterans Day aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum - the old and giant ship that just re-opened after a two-year extreme makeover. We were there, for what could be the President's last official visit to New York. We'll have a wrap-up of Veterans Day events around the area and across the country, tonight at 11.

Meanwhile, President-elect Obama continues his transition -- as we mark the one-week anniversary of his election. We'll have the latest, at 11.

We're also on top of issue number one tonight - the economy. There's a party on the East Side of Manhattan tonight -- it's a charity benefit, with a twist. "Wall Street Pink Slip Party" is the name - and it's for Wall Street job seekers and recruiters. People are indeed trying different approaches in these recessionary times. We're interested, again, in how you are saving money and dealing with the tight economy. Click HERE to pass on your tips. We'll list some of them tomorrow, to coincide with our Eyewitness News Unemployment special, at 5:30 p.m., during which we're going to offer some tips for how to confront and deal with losing your job.

In that vein, Tim Fleischer tonight takes a closer look at how the cratering economy is affecting people psychologically - and the help that's available in our area.

A couple other financial notes:

Is there an airfare war abrewing? Maybe, as airlines worry that folks are cutting way back on their air travel. Southwest Airlines is offering a three-day winter fare sale for the holidays - incredibly low fares, down to $49 each way to a host of cities. There are some who think other airlines will follow.

The caveat is that the tickets are on sale only this week.

And then there's a new and progressive approach to avoid foreclosures. Federal housing regulators are starting a program designed to renegotiate mortgage payments of homeowners -- before they get too deeply into trouble.

The program targets high-risk borrowers who have missed at least three mortgage payments of their primary residence, but haven't yet filed for bankruptcy.

The new program will "fast-track" these borrowers so they can negotiate "affordable" payments - no more than 38% of their monthly gross income.

This is all part of the financial market bailout - and it helps the average Joe and Mary, rather than just the huge financial institutions.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.