WASHINGTON — Leaving the White House on Tuesday, former President George W. Bush blew a kiss out the window of his presidential limousine, a gesture that capped an administration marked by two wars, recession and the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Bush’s exit was bittersweet. He left office with low approval ratings, but he remained upbeat, smiling and joining in the celebration of President Barack Obama’s ascent to rock-star status, even as he faces daunting challenges, especially a depressed economy. Later from Andrews Air Force Base, Bush and his family took a flight to Midland, Texas, riding one last time on the familiar blue-and-white presidential aircraft. A crowd of nearly 20,000 people welcomed the Bushes at Centennial Plaza in Bush’s childhood home of Midland. "The presidency was a joyous experience, but as great as it was, nothing compares with Texas at sunset,” Bush said. "It is good to be home.”