Yes, yes, it’s a fact, George Herbert Walker Bush was born in Massachusetts but Connecticut was his early home and his heart and last days were in Texas.
The 41st President came from a gentler era even though he fought in the last real war the United States won. Even though he didn’t know the price of groceries, headed the CIA, failed in Iraq, allowed the Willie Horton commercial and stuck with Dan Quayle as a running mate and Clarence Thomas as a supreme court nominee.
Ok, we get it. He wasn’t Lincoln. But he had the obvious though imperfect grace and poise we expect of our national leaders and the rest of the world does, too.
As the World changed around Bush, his standing on the bell curve rose. You may have disagreed with his policies. But you’d never question his loyalty to America or his ability to roll with a punch.
And punches he took, from both left and right. Leading with (or from) the right was the Reagan- worshiping George Will whose own stock has risen since those days for unrelated reasons. The left hooks came from a whole line of nay-sayers.
Yet both the head of the LBJ Library and Barak Obama had kind words for him and the spine to stand up in public and say so. So did Bill Clinton. Bi-partisan-ness wasn’t nearly as tough in the Bush 41 years as it is now.
Everyone who knew him and talked or wrote about it said the same thing: President Bush was a nice man. In his day, “nice” wasn’t considered something to single out and compliment. It was expected, at least in public and not that big a deal. Today that’s changed.
He had the respect -- and so did this country -- of much of the rest of the world.
But now, as his wheelchair rolled toward the 95-year-old line, it’s the little things we remember. Sky Diving to celebrate his 90th birthday. Putting Graves’ Disease on the map. Gravitating to New England when he needed a break from Washington.
Kennebunkport has little in common with Washington or Dallas, except all those Secret Service officers and the nuclear football that traveled with him as President.
Oh, and one other thought: he was on time. If you had an appointment with him at, say, 9:15 am, you’d better have been there by 9:10, because he certainly would be.
“(I) don’t like broccoli. I am President of the United States of America and if I don’t want to eat it, I don’t have to.” -- George Herbert Walker Bush.
Some other Bush Quotes:
“What’s wrong with being a boring kind of guy?”
“Never ask someone over 70 how they feel. They’ll tell you.”
“I am a conservative but I’m not a nut about it.”
“Losing is tough.”
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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