One of the duties I remember from my twenty-three years in the Air Force was writing the performance reports on the people I supervised. Every enlisted person received an Airman Performance Report (later named Enlisted Performance Report) at least once per year. I took the job seriously and did my best to write fair and honest reports on my people. Some (not so good) supervisors put the onus of writing the report on the person receiving it. Well, whenever a person is told to write their own evaluation you can bet they're going to make it look as good as possible. They'll ignore the mistakes and poor judgment and highlight every scrap of anything positive they can find. Often, the main positive point was repeated in different language because there wasn't much more to say. It was easy for me to recognize these types of evaluations and the first thing I would do was start cutting out all the bullshit.
President Bush's farewell address tonight brought all that back to my mind. To me he was trying hard to put the brightest positive light on his presidency, repeating much of the The Bush Record and begging us not to hold him in disdain.
I have to admit he's successful at one thing--failure.