A trip to Miami and a shared-with-family bout of the flu interrupted our countdown, so we resume with a mere 3 days left. The excitement is palpable.

“It was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship. After all, 60 years we were at war 60 years ago we were at war.” – June 29, 2006, at the White House, where Bush met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

His grasp of both reality and world history continues to astonish and impress.