The New York Times: “It has become an awkward ritual of the modern presidency that the current occupant of the Oval Office is called upon to deliver a generous historical judgment of the previous one. With the opening of each new presidential library, the members of the world’s most exclusive fraternity put aside partisan differences to honor the shared experience of running the nation in difficult times.
“The task in such moments is especially acute when, as with Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush, the current and previous presidents come from opposing parties and such different sensibilities. The incumbent must hit grace notes without appearing inconsistent with past criticism or, worse, hypocritical. Sometimes a president goes through the motions, dutifully reading what aides put before him. Other times, library dedications have become bonding moments when presidents genuinely grow closer.”
“A day before sharing the stage with his Republican predecessor, President Barack Obama raised money for Democrats at a supporter’s sprawling home in Texas,” AP writes.
If you want a hint at what Obama might say today about the man, who was largely the basis for his run for president, given their diametrically opposed world and economic views, here’s what Obama said last night at the fundraiser: “One of the things I will insist upon is that whatever our political differences, President Bush loves this country and loves his people, and shares that same concern, and is concerned about all people in America. Not just some. Not just those who voted Republican.”
About his outreach to Republicans: “Occasionally I may make some of you angry, because I am going to reach out to Republicans. I am going to keep on doing it, even if some of you guys think I'm a sap. But what I also believe in is that when Democrats have the opportunity to set the agenda and we don’t have a country where just a few are doing really, really well, we have a country where everybody has a chance to do well.”
“Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that Tamerlan Tsarnaev returned from a six-month stay in Russia last year ‘with a willingness to kill people,’” the Boston Globe reports. He said, ““We just had a young person who went to Russia, Chechnya, who blew people up in Boston. So he didn’t stay where he went, but he learned something where he went and he came back with a willingness to kill people.”
Other U.S. officials have not made that leap publicly.
“Russian officials alerted the Central Intelligence Agency about their concerns over the potential radicalization of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in late September 2011, and a US intelligence official says the agency nominated Tsarnaev for inclusion on a government terror watchlist,” the Boston Globe reports.
More: While Tsarnaev’s name was added to a database of 540,000 people that should be monitored as potential terrorist threats, the listing expired after a year. News of the CIA’s involvement adds further evidence to the growing pile of information that was available to US authorities about a potentially dangerous and potentially radicalized individual residing in Cambridge. Member of Congress are raising questions about whether the FBI had sufficient information to keep Tsarnaev under greater scrutiny, and whether the Boston Marathon bombings could have been prevented if it had. Members have said the United States continues to suffer from poor sharing of intelligence information about potential terrorists.”