There are many things George W. Bush should do after his presidency, most of which involve apologizing. But that's not the man's strength. So if he really wants to, as he said, "give some speeches to replenish the old coffers," I suggest he stick to what he does best: motivational speaking.
I've never seen anyone throw pompoms at disaster as well as Bush. Other leaders -- Churchill, FDR, Reagan, JFK, Bruce Springsteen -- expressed how citizens would rise to the challenge of difficult times and either save the world or leave town in a muscle car with a woman. Bush skips all those steps and proclaims that despite all signs to the contrary, everything is awesome right now. Iraq is going great; recovering from 9/11 just required some shopping. Then, last month during a news conference to address the credit crisis, he said that "our economy has demonstrated remarkable resilience ... our economy has continued growing, consumers are spending, businesses are investing, exports continue increasing and American productivity remains strong." I was surprised he didn't deliver this speech while wearing a gold chain and drinking Cristal in a hot tub.
There are plenty of people who need this kind of mindless positivity. So here are some talking points he might offer to suggested clients.
Polar bears: What a great time to be a polar bear! You got those Coca-Cola ads and those "Ice Age" movies that me and Laura love. And global warming is sending lots of scientists to the North Pole, and I wouldn't be bothered if you ate those scientists.
Yahoo guys: The media aren't telling the real story about Yahoo, which is that it is destroying Google. People love all that stuff crammed haphazardly onto your home page. Some are ads, some aren't, and it's fun to try to figure out which is which. And that box featuring the top searches of the day? Alicia Sacramone, Kim Novak, Tori Spelling, Bigfoot, Michael Phelps and Tallest Man? Great to know, Yahoo! You've clearly got a lock on high-income, Bigfoot-and-Tallest-Man-info-dependent searchers.
Journalists: When I found out how much newspapers paid you guys, I made Dick Cheney explain why I had to talk to you at all. Sean Hannity, though, that guy makes money. Good guy. So with newspapers gone, you all can focus on working for Fox News or maybe Fox News Deuce or Fox News Classic. And my cousin Billy makes gobs speaking truth to power.
Bush Library fundraisers: Thanks to you, money is pouring in for my library, which will be highly visited because of my decision not to have any printed material there. Also, there's some talk -- good talk, I think -- of calling it the George W. Bush Presidential Movie Theater. That's $7 a person right there.
Best supporting actor nominees: The media seem to think this award is going to Heath Ledger for "The Dark Knight." It turns out Heath Ledger is dead. So there's one less guy who can win. That increases your odds by whatever percentage five guys is bigger than four guys by.
Rudy Giuliani: People really do want to hear you talk. Sure, they used to pay lots of money to hear you talk, and then you ran for president and no one would walk four blocks to the local high school to see you for free. But that just means the way to fill Yankee Stadium is to charge $50,000 a ticket.
Georgians: Being in NATO is great, but being in NATO and part of Russia? That's twice as much protection!
Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay loves quarterbacks, and they were sick of Brett Favre anyway. You almost beat the Cincinnati Bengals in your first exhibition game, already exceeding the value most fantasy football players put on you. There's a part in a Farrelly brothers' movie coming your way. Do those guys need someone to come speak to them?
Homeowners: Your house is worth more than all the houses ever made put together. Because Chinese people are going to buy them. The Chinese love high ceilings and travertine.
Microsoft: That iPod craze came to a halt when the Zune MP3 player unleashed its convenient Microsoft Marketplace pricing system (one song costs 79 Microsoft Points, which cost $5 for a block of 400. Goodbye, complicated Base 10 system.) And who needs Bill Gates in charge when you've got so many Zunes to make?
John McCain: Dude, you are totally going to win. We're in the same party, and people want to keep this ride going as long as possible.