Saturday, December 1, 2018

On The Passing Of President George H. W. Bush

He took office with the humility that was his hallmark.

"Some see leadership as high drama, and the sound of trumpets calling, and sometimes it is that," he said. "But I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning. The new breeze blows, a page turns, the story unfolds."

George H.W. Bush was the last veteran of World War II to serve as president. He was a consummate public servant and a statesman who helped guide the nation and the world out of a four-decade-long Cold War that carried the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Flying ace and record-setting test pilot, Gen. Chuck Yeager, tweeted his wish that he say “Hello” to his wife Barbara as she welcomed him home, “She sure looked out for me during your inaugural parade.”

The elder Bush was an Eisenhower Republican, whose prudence was displayed first when the Berlin Wall came down and when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

Bush earned the lasting admiration of a discerning posterity, a judgment more important than the one rendered by the undiscerning electorate that in 1992 limited him to one term.

Bush signed into law more than a dozen major pieces of domestic legislation during his single term, including the 1990 budget bill, energy deregulation, the Clean Air Act, the 1990 farm bill, his crime bill, the 1991 Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

He also produced the first set of national performance goals to spur the improvement of education in our K-12 schools, and he passed precedent-setting child-care legislation and led the effort to resuscitate the savings-and-loan industry, including an overhaul of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after the system’s collapse.

Family spokesman Jim McGrath said the former president died shortly after 10 PM Friday, nearly eight months after the death of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.

President Trump issued a statement while in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the G20 summit and the White House immediately noted the passing of Bush by ordering the flag be lowered to half-staff.

John Sununu, who was Chief of Staff to President George H.W. Bush, noted “he [Bush] always considered Lou Gehrig to be one of his greatest heroes.  No doubt, this admiration stemmed in part from Bush’s own baseball career.  Like Gehrig, Bush played as a left-handed first baseman for Yale. But more substantially, Gehrig’s career closely mirrored that of Bush.  Gehrig played in the shadow of the legendary Babe Ruth, much like Bush did in the shadow of his partner Ronald Reagan.  And like Gehrig, Bush operated more comfortably as the soft-spoken member of his partnership.  As he said in his 1988 RNC convention acceptance speech: ‘I am a quiet man, but I hear the quiet people others don’t.’”

Sununu added, “As president, George H.W. Bush laid a solid foundation for his successors to build on. Whether we have the fortitude and discipline to eventually do so remains to be seen.”

“In any case, the world will miss a great president. And I will miss a great friend.”

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