The 43rd president turns 65 today, officially eligible for retirement. Our statement congratulating him is here. Below, from his AARP the Magazine interview, a few thoughts about his next steps...
ATM: What do you think of the word "reinvention"?
President Bush: It's a word that doesn't fit into my vocabulary. Reinvention means you're kind of re-creating somebody. Well, I'm the same person, in terms of values. My priorities - my faith, my family, my friends, the values of personal responsibility and universality of freedom, and "to whom much is given, much is required" - haven't changed.
ATM: Are you comfortable moving into the role of elder statesman?
President Bush: I'm comfortable moving into the role of elder person."Statesman" presumes I'm out there giving opinions all the time about things, and no, I'm not interested in opining on a lot of subjects. I really think it's important for presidents to exit the stage gracefully. "Statesman" gives the impression that every time a major issue comes up, I'll be popping off. And that's not what's going to happen.