Today is the birthday of America’s 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush. He is arguably the most qualified person ever to serve as president.
As the youngest naval aviator in World War II, millionaire in the oil business by age 40, U.S. Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Director of the CIA, U.S. Envoy to China, Vice-President of the United States, and then, of course President, there isn’t much more this man could have done to serve his country.
His accomplishments stand in stark contrast to the current occupant of the White House who by analogy hadn’t even taken the training wheels off when he decided he was ready for the big job. Sadly, it shows.
Besides his professional resume, President Bush has a proud personal background as well. Married since 1945 to the incredible Barbara Bush and father of the 43rd president who I was proud to serve in the White House as well as a former Governor of Florida, he is indeed the head of a very special family whose achievements and impact on American politics is perhaps still yet to be felt with grandson George P. Bush now seeking statewide office in Texas.
I am particularly enamored with the incredible affection he shows towards his wife who is special as well. I will never forget Barbara Bush walking into the East Room for an event. It was like the sea parted. She just has a presence about her. What I particularly admire is the fierce devotion she has for her husband and children. In a world where marriages that last a decade are becoming more and more rare, it’s nice to see a couple who’ve stayed together and committed to each other for as long as the Bushes have.
For a president, I think it’s important to set a strong example to the rest of the country about the importance of family. George and Barbara Bush did that as did George W. and Laura Bush. Barack and Michelle Obama do that now, even though Obama is an incredibly ineffective chief executive. Bill Clinton clearly was anything but a good role model although he was an effective president. That’s the wonderful thing about President Bush. He was both an effective leader and a strong example to the rest of the country.
As time goes by, President Bush is being appreciated more and more. That’s the great thing about history. It offers good perspective with a wider and more accurate lens upon which to measure success. When you consider the accomplishments of President Bush, it becomes clear that he will ultimately be remembered as one of the greatest representatives of the Greatest Generation.
His dedication to his family is unmatched, his character beyond reproach, and now he’s even a fashion icon with his cool colorful socks making quite the fashion statement.
Recently, Monica and I attended the George W. Bush Library dedication in Dallas. While the event was to honor our 43rd president, it was 41 who stole the show. His appearance was met with thunderous applause and an outpouring of love and appreciation rarely seen these days from the public towards its elected officials.
We should all celebrate today and wish President Bush a very happy birthday. Maybe we can even honor him in our own way—by wearing the most fun colorful pair of socks we can find.