By Steven Lee Myers / Published: June 13, 2008
Legacy is a word over which Bush's aides profess not to dwell, and the president himself seems averse to reflection. "The president does not have second thoughts," his press secretary, Dana Perino, once said.
But his legacy hangs over his eight-day visit to Europe nonetheless - in interviews he has given to foreign journalists, in his friendships with European leaders, in his appearance Thursday night with Berlusconi when he had to respond to the U.S. Supreme Court's rebuke on the Guantánamo Bay prison, which remains an unredeemable blemish for many in Europe and beyond.
"The guy said, 'Now what could you do over?"' Bush said in Meseberg, Germany, when asked about remarks he made in an interview with The Times of London expressing some of the words that have earned him his reputation as a reckless cowboy: Dead or alive, bring it on, and so on.
"First of all, you don't get to do things over in my line of work," Bush went on. "But I could have used better rhetoric to indicate that, one, we tried to exhaust the diplomacy in Iraq; two, that I don't like war."