Thanks a lot, President Bush!

The gushing enthusiasm of Barack Obama’s supporters has made possible the exit of Republicans from the political scene. Should he have been president again, George W. Bush would have gone to his ranch in Texas, to meditate upon the eight years when he was the most powerful man of the world.

I certainly can not deny Obama’s distinction. He is educated, with some administrative and political experience, loaded with charisma and with efficient speech. His way through the election campaign would have been worthy of an Oscar winning actor, who won the big prize with the help of television. Socially speaking, a new era begins in America, led by a black president – the perfect match for the profile the African-American and Hispanic communities have drawn. It will definitely be very interesting to follow this fundamental change in The Land of Plenty. Obama at the White House is barely the starting point.

On the other hand, what can not be found among the new president’s qualities is the experience regarding international relations and security. We all know the overwhelming influence of the United States, when it comes to main subjects on the international agenda. The only visible argument that Obama won’t be a bad surprise starting next year is Vice President Joe Biden. Now that everyone is throwing stones at George W. Bush and is happy to be free from his modern team, I will take the liberty of swimming against the current. I will say that, for Romania, president 43 was simply providential. The Democrats’ lack of strong commitment concerning the inclusion of Romania in NATO back in 1997 was extremely disappointing to me. They needed our country’s total support in the 1999 offensive on Yugoslavia, just to realize afterwards that they were wrong. By that time it was too late, and our pro-NATO enthusiasm had already turned into sheer disappointment. There were many hesitations from the Democrats that brought sadness to my face.

Romania’s reaction to 9/11, the strong commitment in security and defense against terrorism, convinced the Republicans that the NATO extension should speed up. Guaranteed democracy, stability, and security in the Black Sea was vital. George W. Bush saw beyond Romania’s imperfections and decided it should be invited to join NATO at the summit of 2002, in Prague. Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and many other big Republican names were Romania’s supporters, exactly when we needed it the most. Bush and his blamed team meant providence for our country’s strategic interests. We owe our presence in NATO mostly to them, presence which gave an impulse also to the one in the European Union. Another reason why we now have a guaranteed national security and a functional economy is because, just when we got in over our heads, George W. Bush lent us a hand. All the other debates regarding the qualities or the flaws of the 2004-2008 Republican administration are mere details to me, as a Romanian. Where Obama’s victory is concerned, all I can say is: Thanks a lot, President Bush!

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