Thursday's dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center will be nothing short of a bipartisan lovefest: Former President George W. Bush will host President Obama and the three other living presidents as they unveil the 226,565-square-foot complex at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

On the outskirts of the campus, however,protestors plan on keeping memories of Mr. Bush's controversial decisions fresh.

Less than five years after he left office, those aspects of Mr. Bush's presidency -- the Iraq war, the use of enhanced interrogation, the response to Hurricane Katrina -- are hard to overlook. So in his new library and museum, the former president doesn't try to. Following the theme of his memoir, titled "Decision Points," Mr. Bush's new library appeals to visitors to consider the pressures Mr. Bush faced in office and consider whether they would have made different decisions.

Opening and curating the inaugural exhibit of a presidential library -- like writing a memoir or sitting down for softball interviews -- is just one step former presidents take to "rehabilitate" their reputation after leaving office, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said to Mr. Bush may not be able to change the events of his presidency, but he can still influence the way they're perceived.


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