June 8, 2013 -- The Honorable George W. Bush
I use George instead of president because, well, Michelle tells me that it is confusing for me as the president to call another person president. I think you understand this a lot better than Bill that you can only have one president at a time.
Also, I am sending this letter to Crawford instead of Dallas because I read recently you were mountain biking at your ranch (that reminds me I need to start looking into where I am going to live after I am done here, and I promise I won't be moving to Texas because who knows when that will turn blue).
For starters, I wanted to say it was great seeing you at your presidential library opening. What a great event, and please tell your dad hi for me. He is a great guy, and I love that your mom said the country doesn't need any more Bushes. I think that will be true about Obamas, especially after this last couple of weeks. I feel like you must have felt before you left office.
And now for the purpose of this letter (I know you are rolling your eyes and saying, "just get to the point," but you know me: I can be a little long-winded at times): I wanted to say I am sorry.
I am sorry that, as a United States senator and presidential candidate, I was critical of you about so many things I now, myself, am doing.
I am sorry about saying Guantanamo would be closed immediately and it was a blight on America. It is still wide open for business.
I am sorry for criticizing you and your administration for intrusions on American's privacy and invasions into personal liberties. My NSA took what you did and put it on steroids.
I am sorry for criticizing the way you waged the war on terror. I have personally approved a number of drone strikes and actually have said it is OK to kill an American on foreign soil without due process. I know you are probably saying, "Aren't you the expert on the Constitution?" but, as you know, being president is hard work.
And, by the way, between you and me, I know your vice president was probably upset my administration got Osama Bin Laden (I get the sense he might have some anger issues and I sure wish he would have kept quiet like you have), but it was really thanks to you and my continuation of your national security policies.
I am sorry for all my overheated rhetoric about your administration not being transparent and saying my administration would be the most transparent in history and most open to the media. Boy, was I off on that one, and certain reporters at the Associated Press and Fox News don't seem to understand why we might put them under secret scrutiny.
Well, George, that is probably all you have time for, and I hope you accept my apology. You can take heart that, even though I am a Democrat, I decided to keep going nearly all your vision and plans on national security and even take it to all-new levels.
One day, I hope someone can follow a path as president that doesn't constantly use the ends to justify the means, but that is going to take a leader strong enough to be more compassionate and follow the principles of your and my buddy JC. Can you believe his "love your enemies" line??? With our luck, it will probably be a woman who finally does that as president.
Take care, and hope you will stay quiet until I leave office because Bill never stops talking.
P.S. You will be happy to know The New York Times is now attacking me for all the same stuff I attacked you on. Crazy.
The opinions expressed by Matthew Dowd are his alone and not those of ABC News.