The legacy of George W. Bush's presidency isn't looking terribly bright these days. But Carleton senior Adam Smith ’07 is counting the president's successes as well as his failures.
Smith, a political science major from Kenosha, Wis., is spending the summer helping political science professor Steven Schier research his upcoming book on the Bush presidency entitled Making Big Waves: The Consequential Presidency of George W. Bush (M.E. Sharpe, forthcoming) as well as an edited volume called Ambition and Division: George W. Bush's Legacy in U.S. Politics (University of Pittsburgh, forthcoming).
More specifically, Smith and fellow senior Andrew Kaufman (Milwaukee, Wis.) are assessing the patterns of Bush's successes and failures during his two presidential administrations by categorizing major events in his presidency as positive or negative for the administration and discretionary or nondiscretionary.
Their second task is to conduct research on certain themes—such as the fate of the Democrats since 2000 and the Bush administration's relationship with Congress and the courts—culminating in a long memo to Schier recommending sources to reference and use while writing those chapters.
"I didn't expect to have the chance to do research here since this is a liberal arts school and not a research university," says Smith. "I'm really happy to have had this opportunity. Besides, I'm such a politlcal nerd I probably would have read these articles anyway. This way I got to read them in a cohesive way and to be part of a legitimate work of political science."