The Economist on Bush Library

Interesting that our former colonial overlords are still interested in this. The first paragraph suggests that they haven’t done their homework — SMU hasn’t definitely landed the library — but the reporter does pick up on the magnitude of Bush’s ambitions and the disputes over the institute.

A room of his own
The Economist
March 15, 2007

George Bush wants his library to propound his message.

THE race is now decided. Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas will enjoy the dubious honour of being host to George Bush’s library. From Mr Bush’s perspective, it was an easy choice: after all, Laura Bush is an alumna and trustee. Wealthy donors in Dallas will be happier to contribute million-dollar cheques if the money is staying in town rather than flowing down the road to Baylor University in Waco, another of the finalists. And Mr Bush’s library will be easier to visit than his father’s, which is hidden away at Texas A&M University in College Station.

It may seem like a coup for the university, too. Housing the George W. Bush presidential library and museum will bring SMU money and attention. But Mr Bush’s plans for managing his legacy have ignited a fierce debate about what SMU may have to sacrifice in return. The president hopes to raise $500m for the project. This would make it the most expensive presidential library ever, $335m more costly than Bill Clinton’s in Little Rock. For Mr Bush wants to build, alongside the library and museum, an institute devoted to promoting his policies and ideas.

Continued here.

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