Tag Archives: Bill Clinton

Longing for the days of civil political discourse

George H.W. Bush 1

In these days when there is so much animosity and vitriol in politics, I am reminded of a story told about former Republican President George H.W. Bush — the dad, #41 — and former Democratic President Lyndon Johnson:

The Bush and Johnson families share a long history and friendship, beginning in the 1950s when Lyndon Johnson served in the U. S. Senate with Prescott Bush, George H. W. Bush’s father. Although from different political parties, the two men enjoyed a productive working relationship steeped in mutual respect. In a letter to Prescott Bush, George H. W. Bush wrote about first meeting Johnson in Midland, Texas, in 1953. When Senator Johnson complimented his father, Bush replied that he was glad to hear such praise from a staunch Democrat. Johnson responded, “Your father and I don’t like to be thought of as Republican or Democrat, rather as good Americans!”

Bush embraced the spirit of bipartisanship when he was elected to Congress as the first Republican representing the Houston area. Although it hurt him politically, he voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which was passed by President Johnson. In a speech in Houston, shortly after he cast the vote, Bush explained the motivation behind his decision. “I voted…because of a feeling deep down in my heart that this was the right thing for me to do. That this was the right thing for America.”

A year later, when President Johnson’s term ended, Congressman Bush left the Inaugural festivities for Johnson’s successor, Richard Nixon, to bid farewell to the former President and First Lady at Andrews Air Force Base among a crowd of Democrats. Mrs. Johnson later recalled, “I remember the warm glow Lyndon and I felt when we learned that a young Republican Congressman, George Bush, had been in that assemblage, rather than at the Inaugural activities of the President of his own party.”

In that same spirit, when President Bush was defeated by Bill Clinton in 1992, Bush smoothed the transition for the new president. Famous for his hand-written notes and letters, he left a letter on the new president’s desk in the Oval Office welcoming him to the White House. That letter, seen above, is now making the rounds on the internet.

Civility. May it some day finds its way back into the political discourse.

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Double murderer Jens Soering seeking release to Germany

Scales of justiceBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Murderer Jens Soering is back in the news. Thankfully, Delegate Rob Bell (R-58th House District) is alerting Virginians of the latest about this heinous case:

This week the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Governor McAuliffe is reviewing a request by murderer Jens Soering for early release.

Soering and his girlfriend Elizabeth Haysom were U.Va. students who in 1985 decided to murder her parents, Derek and Nancy Haysom.  To create an alibi, they bought two tickets to a movie and kept the stubs.  Soering then drove a rental car down to Bedford.  He ate dinner with the Haysoms, then stabbed Mr. Haysom 36 times and Mrs. Haysom 8 times, killing them both.

It was only extraordinary police work by Bedford Deputy Ricky Gardner that broke the case.  Gardner checked the rental car odometer, which showed the distance from Washington D.C. to Bedford.  When Gardner asked Soering for a blood sample, Soering stalled, and then fled the country with Elizabeth.  They obtained false papers and went on an international crime spree, traveling to Yugoslavia, Bangkok, and Moscow, before finally being arrested in England for check fraud.
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Time: ‘Game of Thrones’ … inside the friendship of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton

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By Lynn R. Mitchell

What a cover on Time Magazine! My favorite president with his predecessor who was the reason I dived into George W.’s campaign, together, back-to-back, looking into the camera (see Bill Clinton and George W. Bush’s plan for 2016 by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy). You’ve got to love it.

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It’s not the 1990s anymore … 24/7 news cycle, the internet, and not controlling the narrative

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Jennifer Rubin’s “Right Turn” at the Washington Post nails Hillary Clinton’s uphill battle in the new media world (see Hillary Clinton can’t control her awful narrative):

There is something ironic about Hillary Clinton, whose fetish for control and secrecy is well known, going to the trouble of setting up an alternate e-mail system so that no one would find something incriminating that would set off a media firestorm. Didn’t work out so well, huh? We go on irony overload when she gives a news conference meant to “control the narrative” that explodes in her face, sending a million particles — tweets, blog posts, columns, radio spots, TV segments — cascading through the media, 99 percent of which were negative.

The internet and 24/7 news cycles today are far different than the 1990s when the Clintons were in the White House, a time when it was easier to control the narrative:

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LTE: ‘Former governor did not receive a fair trial’

[Editor’s note: This letter to the editor appeared in the Progress-Index on December 31, 2014.]

As the sentencing date for former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s conviction on corruption charges approaches, one wonders “Did Gov. McDonnell receive a fair trial?” Consider:

During the Fourth of July weekend in 2013, a rumor surfaced that McDonnell was about to plead guilty and resign from office. Due to the holiday weekend, the rumor received wide publicity before it could be discredited. McDonnell’s image was severely tarnished and there were several calls for his resignation.

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George W and Clinton joke with each other at Monday announcement

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush

There’s insight with this video snippet that suggests why the Clintons and Bush family have become closer over the years. Watching Bill and W yuck it up is not only entertaining but also shows that former adversaries can move beyond their differences. Bill reveals that W called him on a regular basis during his second term to talk, something that was unknown to the public before now.

The friendly banter between the two in the video also shows how to work together for a good cause. In this case it’s the Presidential Leadership Scholars program that is a joining-together of the presidential libraries of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon Johnson (see Laughs and Accolades as Clinton and Bush Introduce a Leadership Program by Amy Chozick at The New York Times).

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl

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W takes the ALS ice bucket challenge and then challenges Bill Clinton – hilarious

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Former President George W. Bush has a witty sense of humor and he’s also got a heart of gold. On Wednesday, he posted a message on his Facebook page about the ALS ice bucket challenge that has gone viral on the internet:

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Justin Amash combative after primary win

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Michigan Libertarian tea party U.S. House incumbent Justin Amash during his primary night victory speech Tuesday was anything but gracious. You would not see this from George W. Bush. Or George H.W. Bush. Or even Bill Clinton, for that matter. There’s a time and place for everything. This was not it.

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Medicaid expansion … looking for solutions instead of just saying no

StethescopeBy Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s an interesting stand-off in Augusta County with the discussion (or lack of for some) about Medicaid expansion and what to do about those who fall through the cracks of coverage. If I listen to those to the political right of me, the solution is that we should do nothing, shut down, just say no.

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