Was that George W Bush in Tokyo earlier this month? Yes.
He was there for a baseball game with his old pal former Prime Minister Koizumi and a series of inspirational speeches. All this likely ended in a big fat "thank you" check to the new George W Bush Institute and maybe some envelopes of cash. Such is the tradition.
The Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese like to pay their speakers in cash and depending on your rank and value that amount can be quite large. I have always wondered how many former U.S. officials have failed to declare to U.S. Customs authorities that they are carrying into the country more than $10,000 in cash?
On November 12th, the day President Obama was supposed to land in Japan, former President Bush announced the creation of his new public policy institute at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. The Institute will focus on education, global health, human freedom and economic growth. It will be part of the Bush Presidential Center, which will include the presidential library and museum.
“The Institute will be a vital hub of critical thought and practical action,” Bush said.
To its credit, within all four areas of focus, the Bush Institute will integrate the involvement of women and social entrepreneurs. In remarks following those of her husband, former First Lady Laura Bush, who will lead the institute’s women’s initiative, said, “Research shows that when you educate and empower women, you improve nearly every aspect of society.”
Groundbreaking for the facility is scheduled for the fall of 2010, with the opening and dedication in the spring of 2013.