With the focus so firmly on the race to become the Democratic and Republican nomination for the Presidential elections, the man still in charge has managed to slink into the shadows in recent months.
But in a wide-ranging interview with the BBC to mark the end of his time in the White House, George Bush has worked hard to justify the decisions made during his presidency.
Despite the reported openness of the interview, the US President was very much on the defensive as he stood by decisions on a range of subjects, from the removal of Saddam Hussein to the stance he adopted on Darfur.
The President was also quick to justify the on-going war on terror, particularly the detention of alleged suspects at Guantanamo Bay.
He also returned to a depressingly familiar tactic – using emotive language and feeding on fear to argue that detention of suspects without trial and interrogation techniques like waterboarding have helped save lives.
Mr Bush preyed on the confusion and fears of people in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and continued to do throughout his presidency.
He has based so much of his most contentious domestic and foreign policy on the argument that such measures are essential in order to fight the terrorists and prevent a repeat of the attacks and bombings. Moreover, if you disagree you are an apologist for terrorism and un-American.
So it was almost inevitable that during his BBC interview he would claim that waterboarding – which he denied was a form of torture, despite one of his own officials recently acknowledging as much – and detention was justified as information obtained from alleged terrorists helped save lives. Resorting to that tried, trusted and loathsome tactic he claimed the families of the victims of July 7 bombings in London knew what he meant: “I suspect the families of those victims understand the nature of killers.”
Mr Bush also renewed his threat to veto a congressional bill that would ban waterboarding during interrogation: “We’ll make sure professionals have the tools necessary to do their job within the law.”
The next 12 months is likely to see plenty written about the Bush presidential legacy. State-backed torture will be close to the top of the list of his achievements.