The Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, and Washington Post all have coverage of a conference in Dallas organized by the George W. Bush Institute on the topic of how to get America's GDP growing at 4%.
The AP article that runs in the Washington Post quotes President Bush as saying, "Obviously we have to be somewhat optimistic to aim for an aspirational target of 4 percent." Well, that's one way of looking at it. But if one recalls that President Kennedy aimed for 5% growth and got it, one might think that holding out 4% as an "optimistic...aspirational target" is actually yielding to what one politician once called, in a memorable phrase, "the soft bigotry of low expectations."
The Dallas Morning News illustrates its article with a photograph — not of the 240 people who, according to the AP, attended the conference, but of the "about half a dozen people" protesting outside.
The Los Angeles Times leads its coverage with Mr. Bush's explanation of his support for the Troubled Assets Relief Program:
The decision "contradicted the principles that I told the American people I stood upon, which is the markets are the best way to allocate goods, resources and services," Bush said. "And that decision was to use taxpayers' money to bail out Wall Street in order to make sure that we didn't have an economic disaster.
"I can't prove that we were going to have an economic disaster; I can just tell you we didn't have one. And I have thought often about this decision. I will just tell you this: Had I had to make it again, I would make the same exact decision."
A list of the panelists at the conference, available at the Bush Institute Web site, includes Robert Steel, who was CEO of Wachovia in 2008 until it was taken over by Wells Fargo, and Stephen Friedman, who was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York while also serving as a director of Goldman Sachs and owning Goldman Sachs stock.