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Note January 14, 2009

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Driving to work Monday morning, I caught the last five minutes of a press conference on NPR, and when a smattering of applause signaled the end of the broadcast, I choked back a few tears. It was George W. Bush's final press conference as president and the tears welled not with pride or sadness but simple relief. In the last eight years, I've spent countless hours in this country debating Bush's shortcomings with those who support him. I've also spent countless hours in arguments abroad defending Americans against those who think we all support Bush. (I recently got smart and started identifying as a Canadian just to avoid the fight.)

In this, the last BW that will publish during the Bush administration, words seem to defy the moment. Columnist Bill Cope penned an opera for the occasion, relying on the transformative power of music to convey his message. And in the main feature section, you'll find a board game, highlighting some of the president's best and worst moments in the last eight years.

We may not know what the future holds, but here's hoping it, too, defies words, albeit in a much different way.

—Rachael Daigle