More than two months after leaving the White House, former US President George W Bush is still having trouble putting together a credible cover-story for prospective employers explaining how he has spent the last eight years. Bush had anticipated no shortage of offers from multinationals after he left office in January, but aides were quick to advise him that for reasons no one fully understands, the downturn in the global economy appears to have coincided with a drop in demand for the kind of leadership that put him on the political map. ‘I just don’t understand it,’ he said today. ‘I thought we loved winners in this country.’
It is a sorry change of fortune for a man who previously held the most powerful position on the planet. The lack of contact from potential employers had initially been put down to a problem with the Bushes’ forwarding address and new telephone number, but after numerous assurances that those who needed to ‘knew where he lived’, wife Laura suggested he start leafing through the classifieds. Despite proudly referencing his Most-Improved World Leader Award 2003 and membership of the Pretzel Survivors Trust, Bush’s CV attracted a string of knock-backs from companies politely declining his services on the grounds that he was ‘probably over-qualified’.
‘I guess my track record intimidates people,’ he reasoned today. ‘There’s not that many two-termers out there, so people have always tended to look at me like I’m a little bit different.’ In one recent attempt to conceal his past, Bush told interviewers that he’d spent the last few years trying his hand at running his own business, but the move backfired when the chair of the board suddenly started weeping and repeatedly saying ‘We know, we know’. ‘It must be a tough time for businesses or something,’ concluded Bush. ‘Geez, that new Obama guy must have really screwed things up.’
Although Bush did what he could to plan for his future by growing the market for Peace Envoys, employment prospects for ex-leaders aren’t forecast to improve with Gordon Brown likely to swell the labour pool before next summer. That said, at an interview yesterday Bush appeared to have made a breakthrough. ‘I told them I’d been in a coma for eight years and only just woken up, and they nodded at that one. I think it really struck a chord.’ Fingers crossed, Bush is expecting an offer any day now from a family-run start-up called ‘Lehmans’ Car Wash’.