Said Stone on Instagram: “She had a ‘countdown clock’ for Donald Trump’s presidency? Well she’s dead and he’s president — who won that one? Nasty, rude, vindictive, entitled, self-important – that’s the woman I had several unpleasant encounters with.”
President Trump told the Washington Times that he understands why Barbara Bush was so critical of him, because he was so hard on her sons.
Said Trump: “I have heard that she was nasty to me, but she should be. Look what I did to her sons.”
He added: “She’s the mother of somebody that I competed against. Most people thought he was going to win and he was quickly out. I hit him very hard.”
“I’d probably say no today.”
— Barbara Bush, quoted by USA Today, when asked in October 2017 whether she still considered herself a Republican.
“A chummy discussion between Vice President Pence and former vice president Richard B. Cheney quickly turned into a vigorous back-and-forth over President Trump’s foreign policy at a private gathering Saturday, with Cheney comparing the president’s instincts to those of his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama,” according to a transcript obtained by the Washington Post.
“At the closed-door retreat hosted by the American Enterprise Institute on March 9 in Sea Island, Ga., Cheney respectfully but repeatedly and firmly pressed Pence on a number of the president’s foreign policy moves — over which Cheney expressed concerns — from taking a harder line toward U.S. allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to deciding to withdraw troops from Syria during what Cheney fretted was ‘the middle of a phone call.'”
Former Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) told CNN that he now wishes for George W. Bush again “every day.”
Said Reid: “He and I had our differences, but no one ever questioned his patriotism. Our battles were strictly political battles.”
He added: “There’s no question in my mind that George Bush would be Babe Ruth in this league that he’s in with Donald Trump in the league. Donald Trump wouldn’t make the team.”
Susan Glasser: “Trump appeared grim-faced throughout much of the ordeal. He didn’t read along with the prayers or sing along with the hymns. He refused to shake hands with or acknowledge any of his predecessors or their wives, except Barack and Michelle Obama, a snub that was made all the more apparent when George W. Bush, upon entering the Cathedral a short time later, stopped to greet the Trumps, Obamas, Clintons, and Carters, before taking his seat in a front-row pew to bid farewell to his father.”
“It was the first time that Trump had been in the same room as the Obamas and the Clintons and the Bushes since his Inaugural Address, on January 20, 2017, when he had spoken of ‘American carnage.’ At the time, Bush had reportedly told Hillary Clinton, Trump’s defeated 2016 opponent, ‘That was some weird shit.’ Almost two years later, it seems even weirder. But here we are, at a state funeral, where the big relief is a two-hour news cycle in which the President can’t tweet.”
Dana Millbank: “Bush’s funeral was so powerful a renunciation of his current successor because it was a celebration of character. Friendship was invoked 21 times by his eulogists. Loyalty, 10. ‘Honor,’ ‘integrity,’ ‘dignity,’ ‘decency’ and inner peace all recurred. Certainly, Bush could be a fierce partisan and a brutal politician (remember Willie Horton?), but his service in World War II — he was shot down over the Pacific — left him with lessons that fueled his generation’s greatness: The opposition is not the enemy. There are causes greater than self. Political defeat is not the worst thing. And American leadership in the world is indispensable.”
“Trump, for whom no cause is greater than self, must have struggled to sit through 90 minutes of something that was not all about him. Rather, it was all about what he is not.”
John Harris: “The service was replete with praise for the 41st president that could, with just the slightest nudge of interpretation, be heard as implied rebuke of the 45th president. But only implied, never explicit—this, unlike almost everything else in American politics today, was not about Donald Trump.”
“And yet it very much was.”
“The idea is to die young as late as possible.”
— Former President George W. Bush, quoted by the Washington Post, delivering the eulogy at his father’s funeral.
“President Trump traversed a wide political chasm Tuesday evening when he personally welcomed George W. Bush, his occasional foil, to Blair House, the presidential guest quarters across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House,” the Washington Post reports.
“But the actual distance was just 250 yards — a route Trump and his wife Melania traveled in the presidential parade limousine, with a motorcade of at least seven other vehicles.”
“The Trumps spent 23 minutes visiting with Bush and his wife Laura, by all accounts a cordial meeting in which the former president exchanged kisses on the cheek with the current first lady at the curb.”
Patti Davis, daughter of President Ronald Reagan, remembers President George H.W. Bush in the Washington Post:
“America will lay to rest a man who served his country. We will pause, and mourn, and reflect. We might also want to mourn the loss of dignity that we have long associated with the office of the president and that is no longer there. No matter what you thought of George H.W. Bush’s time in office, he never attacked or abused people or institutions. He was never crude or dismissive of people who were hurting. And he had reverence for the Constitution and the pillars of democracy that built this nation — the pillars that are now being chipped away, crudely and casually.”
“President Trump will attend but not speak at this week’s funeral service for former President George Bush, seemingly a compromise intended to respect tradition while avoiding an awkward moment given the animosity between the current president and the Bush family,” the New York Times reports.
“Instead, eulogies will be delivered by former President George W. Bush, Mr. Bush’s son, and two friends, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada and former Senator Alan Simpson, Republican of Wyoming.”
“Rounding out the speakers will be Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer-winning historian and author of the definitive biography of the 41st president.”
Politico: “President George H.W. Bush was a war hero, an internationalist who played a consequential role in maintaining the post-war world order. In domestic politics, he is remembered as a pillar of the Republican establishment, a pragmatist who pined for a ‘kinder, gentler nation.'”
“President Donald J. Trump represents a starkly different strain of Republicanism, and a rejection of nearly all of Bush’s values. And as Trump played global statesman at the G-20 summit here against the backdrop of a former president’s passing, many world leaders clearly missed the predictability of the Bush years and the America he represented.”
If you want to know more about our 41st president, you should read What it Takes: The Way of the White House by Richard Ben Cramer.
It’s a story of the 1988 presidential campaign and also one of the best political books ever written.
President Trump, who had a hostile relationship with the last Republican family to occupy the White House, offered nothing but praise for former President George Bush just hours after the 41st commander in chief died at age 94, the New York Times reports.
Said Trump on Twitter: “President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life. Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!”
“Many of my memories are linked to him. We happened to work together in years of great changes. It was a dramatic time demanding huge responsibility from everyone. The result was the end of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. I pay tribute to George Bush’s contribution toward this historic achievement. He was a genuine partner.”
— Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, quoted by Reuters.
“George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States and the father of the 43rd, was a steadfast force on the international stage for decades, from his stint as an envoy to Beijing to his eight years as vice president and his one term as commander in chief from 1989 to 1993,” the Washington Post reports.
“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 Cold War that had carried the threat of nuclear annihilation.”
“His death, at 94 on Nov. 30, also marked the passing of an era.”
New York Times: “Mr. Bush was a skilled bureaucratic and diplomatic player who, as president, helped end four decades of Cold War and the threat of nuclear engagement with a nuanced handling of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe.”
“Yet for all his success in the international arena, his presidency faltered as voters seemed to perceive him as detached from their everyday lives.”
Jenna Bush interviewed Michelle Obama on the Today Show and asked about the former First Lady’s relationship with her father, former President George W. Bush:
BUSH: He said, ‘Send her my love.’ And I thought, you know, it’s so interesting how people are so interested in y’all’s friendship. I mean that hug was, like, the hug that went around the world. I do love that picture.
OBAMA: That’s your dad. That’s, you — you know your dad. You know?
BUSH: Why do you think people are so hungry for that, though?
OBAMA: Because I think the political discourse, the way it’s shown in the media, is– it’s all the nasty parts of it. You know? Because I guess we’ve become a culture where the nasty sells. So people are just gonna keep feeding that. But the truth is much more complicated and complex than that. And I’d love if we as a country could get back to the place where we didn’t demonize people who disagreed with us. Because that’s essentially the difference between Republicans and Democrats. We’re all Americans. We all care about our family and our kids, and we’re trying to get ahead. We have different ideas about what’s the best way to get there. You know? But that doesn’t make me evil. And that doesn’t make him, you know, stupid.
OBAMA: It’s just a disagreement and that’s how I feel about your father. You know? He’s a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man and I don’t know that I agree with him on everything.