We have lost one of our better Presidents. George H. W. Bush. History will remember him as a great leader.
The character of the man first became evident with World War II. He was 18 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Yale was in front of him. Instead, he opted for the U.S. Navy.
Bush became the youngest commissioned aviator in Navy history. One hundred twenty six carrier landings, 58 missions, shot down twice.
Politically, a Republican. In the mold of Barry Goldwater.
Elected to Congress, he voted the Republican line. With a significant exception. He supported Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, believing it provided “a better life for all.”
Bush twice ran for the U. S. Senate. Defeated each time. By age 46, advancing politically did not look promising.
Undaunted, he went on to become Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief Envoy to China, CIA Director, Vice President, and President.
Bush was a one term President. Clinton defeated him.
When running for President the first time, the country was in rough shape economically. Bush promised no new taxes. His famous words: “Read my lips. No new taxes.”
The words came back to choke him.
While President, he supported a tax raise. The people neither forgot nor forgave him. The primary reason for his defeat.
Clinton’s dynamism another reason. An entertaining candidate. A distinct contrast with the soft spoken gentlemanly Bush. I voted for Bush. Bush’s character motivated me. I thought Clinton was lacking in that regard.
During his four years in the White House, the Berlin Wall came down. Bush was extremely helpful in molding the new Berlin and Germany.
Operation Desert Storm also occurred under his command. An act of military brilliance. Forced Hussein out of Kuwait. Bush put together a coalition of 28 countries. The war was over in 100 hours.
Two sons achieved political prominence. Son George W. Bush became President. Son Jeb Bush Governor of Florida and unsuccessful candidate for the 2016 Republican nomination.
The moving force behind Bush had to be his wife Barbara of 73 years. A forceful straight forward woman. She died several months ago.
The Nation will truly mourn his loss the next few days. Each of us will feel it. Respect will flow.