Washington, D.C. - In his final act as president, George W. Bush presented the American people with what he called an "awesome" mix tape as a parting gift, on the day he left office. Mr. Bush told the American people, "This is not 'goodbye.' It's 'until we meet again'." The tape was presented at a small morning ceremony at the White House, prior to the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. At that time, Mr. Bush was still the President of the United States.
"I leave you this tape, as a measure of my gratitude for allowing me to serve as your president for eight wonderful years," Mr. Bush said in prepared opening remarks. "Many's a time I thought you might impeach me, or worse, take to the streets in violent revolution. But you didn't. You let me stay. And for that, I have pulled together as many classic songs as I could find, and put them all on one tape for you, the American people. Because you deserve only the best. The most classic classics. And that's what these are."
Mr. Bush then listed some of the songs he included on the tape. "'Wind Beneath My Wings' reminds me of the fact that I couldn't be president without a country beneath me," he said. "So, though it's not the same as wind, it's very similar and it makes my mind think of the same thing. It's one of the four elements, anyway, the country. Because it's land. A lot of it's land."
He continued, "'I Believe I Can Fly,' because I do. 'I Will Always Love You,' because I will. 'My Heart Will Go On,' for Cheney. Because somehow, his heart is still going on. Everyone knows it shouldn't be, but doggone it if that little guy isn't pumping away, working like crazy to get blood through that body. It's amazing.
"And as a kind of change of pace, 'Who Let the Dogs Out?' because I actually did let the dogs out most of the time, so I'm hoping you might think of me when you hear that song.
"Those are just some of the gems that are on here, and they're for you," said Mr. Bush, holding up the tape. "It is the least I can give you, after all our years together. But it is from the heart. Oh, that's another one: 'Straight From the Heart.' If you can't love Bryan Adams, you maybe just can't love."
Mr. Bush concluded, "So though we may part now, know that it's not really goodbye, it's 'until we meet again.' And until that time, when we meet again, you'll have this tape. These songs. To remind you of me, and how wonderful our time was together. Okay, maybe it wasn't quite 'wonderful' for some of you, some of the time. Or a lot of the time. Maybe it was just good most of the time. Or maybe it wasn't good at all, any of the time. Maybe it was mediocre at best. Hopefully that's not the case, but even if it is, you'll still have these songs. To remind you of that time. To remind you of me. I love you, America. And I only made one copy of this thing, so you'll have to share."
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