Tag Archives: George H.W. Bush

Former First Couple Barbara, George H.W. Bush Hospitalized

030906-N-2383B-039 Newport News, Va. (Aug. 26, 2003) -- President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush share applause with Adm. Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), as they watch the Navy's parachute team "The Leapfrogs" perform during a keel laying ceremony honoring the building of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). This will be the 10th and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier as it undergoes the first of four ceremonial traditions that will happen throughout the life of the warship. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer's Mate Johnny Bivera. (RELEASED).

Newport News, Va. (Aug. 26, 2003) — President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush share applause with Adm. Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), as they watch the Navy’s parachute team “The Leapfrogs” perform during a keel laying ceremony honoring the building of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). This will be the 10th and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier as it undergoes the first of four ceremonial traditions that will happen throughout the life of the warship. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Johnny Bivera. (RELEASED).

Sad news came from Houston Wednesday morning with the report that former President George H.W. Bush, 92, had been hospitalized after trouble breathing as a result of pneumonia.

By mid-day he had been moved to intensive care, and his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, had also been hospitalized as a precaution after illness:

The 41st president was placed in the ICU to address “an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia,” McGrath said. He later told The Associated Press that doctors were happy with how the procedure went.

… Barbara Bush, who is 91, had not been feeling well for a couple of weeks, “and it finally just got to the point this morning where she said she wanted to take it out of committee and have the experts check it out.”

The Bushes recently celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary, making them the longest married presidential couple in history:

The former president and first lady celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary on Friday. After a long-distance courtship, the two wed on Jan. 6, 1945. The lovebirds met at a dance in 1941 when George Bush was 16 years old and Barbara was home from boarding school during a holiday break. They were engaged right before Bush was shipped overseas as a naval pilot during World War II and married in Rye, N.Y.

John and Abigail Adams were married 54 years, the second longest of presidential couples. George H.W. served as President Ronald Reagan’s vice president for eight years before becoming president from 1989-1993. Thoughts and prayers go up to the former president and first lady.

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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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Former President George H.W. Bush celebrates 92nd birthday

George W. Bush 1 with his dad

Happy 92nd birthday to former President George H. W. Bush! World War II hero, congressman, U.S. Ambassador to U.N., RNC Chairman, U.S. Ambassador to China, Director of the CIA, Vice President of U.S., POTUS. Husband to Barbara. Dad of President George W. Bush and Governor Jeb Bush. Gentleman.

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“If you can’t say anything nice …”

George W. Bush 47 with GHW BushWe all heard it while growing up: “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

The news Wednesday that former President George H.W. Bush and his son, former President George W. Bush, would not endorse in the 2016 presidential election nor be actively involved is their choice. Endorsements are earned:

For the first time since his own presidency, George H.W. Bush is planning to stay silent in the race for the Oval Office — and the younger former president Bush plans to stay silent as well.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush entered the 2016 presidential race in December 2015 with $100 million dollars to run for the Republican nomination. Dynamics eventually saw him leave the race but not before he was verbally bashed at every opportunity by an unpresidential-acting Donald Trump. Staunts like that are not forgotten.

So if you can’t say something nice … hard to do sometimes … but #41 and #43 have chosen to stay out of the mix and not participate in the national convention in Cleveland. With a link to the article, I opined on Facebook, “Hands down my favorite national convention was 2000 in Philly when George W was nominated — my mom and sisters were there, too — followed by 2008 (McCain) in Minneapolis-St. Paul when daughter Katy was with me. Like W, I’m happy to stay out of the fray this year.”

Buckle your seatbelts … it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Historic Kennebunkport … summer home of Bush family

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Walker’s Point houses the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Photo by Kurt Michael. March 14, 2016.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Walker’s Point is a place that has entertained presidents and world leaders, and served as the summer White House for an American president. To see the wind-swept rocky shoreline and homes is to see history in this tiny coastal town in southern Maine, a history that began long before the piece of land became part of the Bush and Walker family life stories.

The Bush Compound, one of the most famous family summer homes in America that is in use from mid-May until mid-October each year, takes in the scenic Atlantic Ocean that surrounds the peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean at Kennebunkport. It is named after President George H.W. Bush’s grandfather, David Davis Walker, and his son George H. Walker who erected the first homes in 1902. Ownership since then has never left the possession of the Walker-Bush families, and it is currently owned by George H.W. Bush who shares it with members of his family tree.

The most prominent home in the compound that stands out in photos is the main, multi-story, New England shingle style house that includes nine bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, office, den, four sitting rooms, and is surrounded by decks and patios that take in the ocean views. There is also a four-car garage, pool, tennis court, boat house, and dock, as well as a guest house and “bungalows” belonging to family members.

Kurt Michael Bush 2

The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust erected this anchor memorial near Walker’s Point in honor of President George H.W. Bush: “For our Friend and 41st President George H.W. Bush. An ‘Anchor to Windward.’ As he was for our nation and world during four years of tumultuous and historic change, so, too, has Kennebunkport served, in the words of St. Paul, ‘as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast’ to him. Presented by those who love him as much as he loves this special place.”

Kurt Michael Bush 3Walker’s Point has not only been the scene of summer vacations and special events for the Bush family but has also been the location for entertaining many notable guests over the years. While serving as the “summer White House,” President George H.W. Bush hosted British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the Soviet Union.

Other guests have included British Prime Minister John Major, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, former President Bill Clinton, Dr. Billy Graham and his wife Ruth, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as well as other well-known names.

The citizens of the town of Kennebunkport have embraced the Bush family, and the Bush family has embraced the town for more than 150 years as summer residents and patriotic Americans living and playing at the historic Walker’s Point.

Photos by Kurt Michael
March 14, 2016

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Welcome to the world, Poppy Louise Hager … congrats, Henry and Jenna Bush Hager!

Jenna Bush 4 Poppy

Mila Hager, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Poppy Hager

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Mila has a baby sister, and her name is Poppy!

And Virginia has a new grandbaby, sort of. Since Poppy is the granddaughter of former Lieutenant Governor John Hager, maybe the Commonwealth can take a little claim of her, too.

Congratulations to Jenna, daughter of former First Lady Laura Bush and former President George W. Bush, and her husband Henry, son of Maggie and John Hager, on the birth Friday, August 14, 2015, of their baby girl named Poppy Louise Hager.

Poppy’s uncle is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who is a U.S. presidential candidate for 2016.

Poppy was the nickname of Jenna’s grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush, as a child. What an honor for the proud 91-year-old great-grandpa who was able to meet his namesake via Facetime. Congrats to both George H.W. and his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush.

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Jenna and Henry Hager with baby daughter Poppy

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Sununu wonders if Trump presence may turn GOP debates into ‘reality show’

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Karl Rove’s not the only one who’s skeptical about whether Donald Trump is really running for president (see Election 2016: Is Donald Trump running for president? Karl Rove is skeptical).

I’ve been wondering since Trump’s appearance as the keynote speaker at the Chesterfield County Republican Committee earlier this year if he is making a reality show out of his presidential run (see Is it a reality show? Donald Trump enters 2016 presidential fray). Even after his over-the-top glam-filled official announcement at Trump Tower in New York City, he still has not filed papers with the FEC declaring his candidacy.

This week former Bush #41 chief of staff John Sununu made a reference to Trump turning the GOP debates into a reality show. The former New Hampshire governor, who was on King’s show to talk about his book, “The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush” and to discuss the 2016 presidential election, showed a bit of skepticism himself toward Trump being part of the field of candidates.

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George W. Bush named Father of the Year

George W. Bush 47 with GHW BushBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Former President George W. Bush was presented with the Father of the Year award Thursday by daughter Barbara at the 74th National Father’s Day awards luncheon held in New York City (see video). The fundraiser brought in $1.3 million for Save the Children’s U.S. programs.

In his usual self-deprecation style, Bush joked about himself, was thankful to be recognized, and credited fatherhood for helping him become sober after drinking in his younger years.

“As a matter of fact, I don’t think I would’ve quit drinking had it not been for being a dad. You see what happened to me was alcohol was becoming a love and it was beginning to crowd out my affections for the most important love if you’re a dad and that’s loving your little girls. So for me, fatherhood meant sobriety from 1986 on,” he noted.

“I also learned of unconditional love,” he added, becoming emotional. “It’s one of the greatest gifts a dad can give a child, which leads me to a fitting reading I’m about to do and a practical one. Fitting because I’m about to read from the book that I wrote about my dad. Practical because I’m retired and I hope people buy it. It may be a little confusing for some up here to know that not only can I read, I can write,” he added.

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Bush family fundraises for Jeb in Texas

Jeb Bush 20 George W, George HW

George H.W., George W., Jeb Bush

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Wow, to be part of the fundraising for Jeb Bush that will take place this week in Texas as the Bush family, friends, alumni, and colleagues gather in support of Jeb’s 2016 presidential anticipation. A guest list that includes some of the most recognizable names in Texas politics will be at the home of bank executive Gerald Ford and his wife Kelli (see George W. helping Jeb Bush’s PAC raise big money in Dallas):

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George H.W. Bush spent Christmas in hospital, will remain through weekend

George W. Bush with George H.W. BushBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Prayers went out across the nation on Christmas Eve when news was released that former President George H.W. Bush had been rushed to a Houston hospital after experiencing a shortness of breath. Doctors are keeping the 90-year-old in the hospital through the weekend as a precaution (see George H.W. Bush to remain in hospital over weekend).

The former president, affectionately known as #41, is the father of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who is currently exploring a run for President.


Time for holiday cheer or jeer?

Daniel Cortez 2By Daniel P. Cortez

It will be difficult depending on which political blowhard one chooses to listen to, as to how exuberant independent voters should be in the New Year.

Like many, I remain jaded when Democrats and Republicans firmly suggest they exclusively remain “the light and the way.” Especially if they suggest divine providence ordered their political involvement … and some have.

But I acknowledge some exceptional folks on both sides of the aisle. Presidents John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and father and son Bush are at the top of my chart. Plus former Senator George Allen and Senator Diane Feinstein remain two of the more civil and dedicated politicians I’ve had the honor to work with closely.

Sadly, their ability to reach across the aisle is not shared by their contemporaries. And the collective political failure of both parties has allowed the once dominant U.S. military to be decimated by an administration bent on unilateral appeasement through sequestration.
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George W. Bush to answer questions about new book

George W. Bush dad's bookBy Lynn R. Mitchell

An announcement was posted yesterday on George W. Bush’s Facebook page:

Next Monday, President Bush will answer questions on video from Facebook fans about his new book, “41: A Portrait of My Father.” If President Bush answers your question, he will also send you a signed copy of the book. To be considered, submit one question that you would like to ask President Bush about “41” by commenting on this post by 5:00 PM Central on December 4, 2014.

Two days left to submit a question, and then tune in next Monday to hear questions answered.

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Dr. Rob Marsh … Delta Force soldier finds peace as country doctor


Dr. Rob Marsh

By Lynn R. Mitchell

An unassuming man walked to the middle of the stage in front of a room of 300 military veterans and their guests who stood and applauded the Desert Storm veteran, now in his mid-50s. He paused and seemed to take in the faces before him, humbled at the reception. As guests sat down, Dr. Rob Marsh began his story by noting that he doesn’t often speak but, when he does, his priority is with military groups, veterans groups, and medical gatherings that may offer new medical and surgical techniques that can help our soldiers at war.

Then he paused, kind of bowed his head, and quietly said that he would talk with groups if he felt his message could honor the Lord. He went on to add that it was an honor to recognize veterans and their families who sacrificed for America, and noted that he was not speaking as Rob Marsh the soldier but, rather, as Rob Marsh the Christian.

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Gillespie relays story of Bush #41 respecting office of Bush #43

George W. Bush 47 with GHW BushBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Talk to any of the Bush alumni and they are full of stories about their time in service to the White House. Today on Facebook, Ed Gillespie relayed just such a story that happened during his time in the Bush #43 White House, and it had to do with Bush #41.

Ed Gillespie wrote:

With President George W. Bush’s new book about his father coming out, I want to share this memory from my time in the White House.
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Kay Coles James for RPV chairman: A visionary for the future of the party

Kay Coles James

Kay Coles James

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The announcement by Pat Mullins last week that he will step down as State Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) on January 31, 2015, has begun the usual flurry of telephone calls and email messages that range from “Who will run for RPV Chairman?” to outright requests for support for one candidate or another.

Before the RPV State Central Committee rushes to promote from within, Virginia Republicans should step back and make an honest assessment of whether to stick with the status quo, in which case promoting a current RPV leader to State Chairman is a no-brainer. Or, if the decision is that RPV needs the political equivalent of an injection of adrenalin, then a dynamic, articulate, and experienced conservative from outside of the status quo is needed.

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