MSNBC host Chris Matthews expressed his surprise that the George W. Bush Presidential Center ceremony went so well Thursday on the post ceremony panel.
David Gregory was also complimentary, although emphasized his principle take away from the George W. Bush Presidential Center's mission was to explain "controversial decisions" President Bush made while in office:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: David, this was quite a day. I didn't expect it would go so well, but I think it has.
DAVID GREGORY: I think it has gone well. There's an enormous amount of politeness at an event like this. We've talked about it. There is a common bond between these former presidents and current president, as president obama said. They're more like a support group than a club. Because it reflects the fact that politics is one thing, governing and the presidency is hard. I think having covered President Bush for eight years I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that I do believe he worries less about being loved, than most politicians. I think he has resigned himself to the fact that he will forever be controversial president, because he made very difficult decisions, very controversial decisions, he went very big in his response to 9/11. You say we didn't hear about Iraq, Iraq is not a separate part of the exhibit within this. It's all part of the response to terrorism. That's what was the basis of criticism of President Bush. In office and it will continue out of office. What he said today, Chris, was, respect the fact that I'm a man of conviction, that I did the best I could and that I'm content to realize you may never do what I would have done. But at least come through here, see the information I dealt with and try to understand how I had to deal with a changing world, a changing country and felt the need to change the government. That's a message I took away from him as he addressed the crowd today.