At this time of year, columnists of every political stripe are looking back and analysing the events of 2007. But only one man, George W. Bush, has the courage to give his extraordinary retrospective on the year ahead:
"My fellow Americans, as I look back on the year to come, I note with prideness the many accomplishments of my Administration. Building on the successes of my first seven years in office, it should not have been surprising that 2008 would be my most successful year ever.
"As you know, there were many naysayers. But naysayers only know how to say nay. They don’t know how to say yeah or even hey. But I do. And I’m proud to say: ‘Hey! We did it!’
"Looking back on the year 2008, I take great pride in establishing a modern democracy in Iraq. Those who supported me through the difficult times can now rejoice in the final result. Unlike the naysayers, you knew that the troop pre-surge in February, the troop up-surge in March and the re-surge in April would inevitably lead to victory and the eventual return home of all American troops in September.
"To those who say that our victory in Iraq affected the outcome of the November election, I can’t disagree. Some claim that the revelations about Hillary Clinton’s drug use, Barack Obama’s terrorist training in Afghanistan and John Edwards’s secret gay love child were the deciding factors. But I say that Dennis Kucinich was a formidable Democratic presidential candidate and it took a strong Republican contender and my sterling eight-year record to retain control of The White House.
"I am proud of my little brother Jeb for winning the election. The fact that other Republicans dropped out of the race due to various alleged financial, political and sexual improperieties does nothing to diminish the enormousty of his victory.
"I can’t say enough about the work of my financial advisors. Again, there were those who pointed to the huge national debt and claimed that our country was on the brink of a depression. But just as I promised, my tax cuts for the rich finally did the job and kick-started the economy.
"Thanks to the explosive economic growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2008, we are on track to not only eliminate the annual deficit but to entirely erase our national debt by the year 2010. The state of the union as of December 31, 2008 is truly strong.
"These past few months have indeed been historic. From the complete rebuilding of New Orleans to the unprecedented advances in our public schools to the total capitulization of Iran and North Korea, the accomplishments of my Administration during the final days of my term have been nothing short of amazing.
"Now some say I am looking back at 2008 through rose-colored glasses, that none of these things really happened or ever will. All I can say is that those naysayers are probably the same ones who refused to acknowledge the discovery of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction outside Basra in October.
"Which brings me to my final point. I would be remiss if I did not note the successful end of the War on Terror. With the capture of Osama bin Laden in July and the eradicalizing of Islamic terrorism worldwide in August, we can close the book on America’s first full-scale war on a concept. To those who questioned my resolve, I would like to simply reiterate: Mission Accomplished."