tv Bloomberg Markets Americas Bloomberg December 5, 2018 10:00am-11:01am EST
i, george herbert walker bush, do solemnly swear -- mr. obama: when offered a chance to serve, he seized it. i don't view political service as a detriment. i view it as an asset. , it was started, this cruel battle against kuwait. tonight it has been joined. ♪ anchor: this is special bloomberg television and radio coverage of the life and legacy of president george herbert walker bush. i'm david westin, reporting from
washington. as we observe a national day of mourning in the united states, ceremonies are about to begin for the state funeral of the nation's 41st president. the bush family will be gathering at the foot of the stairs of the u.s. capitol, which is what we are looking at live. the form presidents -- the former president's casket will make it down the steps with a full honor guard and be taken to the hearse. will drive up pennsylvania avenue and make their way to the national cathedral, where the services will begin at 10:00. they are waiting for the late they're waiting for the late president will be the current president and the president's son, former president george w. bush. we will hear you -- we will hear eulogies from george w. bush.
right now i want to introduce a special guest, richard lugar, the former senator from indiana who served until 2013, including as chairman of the foreign relations committee. welcome. good to have you here. you were, as i say, chair of the foreign relations committee. i think many people think about his foreign policy, the things he accomplished in those four short years. give us a sense of his foreign policy and achievements. richard: he was remarkable because of his background in foreign policy. from 1970 to 1980, he served in several capacities, including, of course, the cia. likewise, working with the republican national committee chairman. back and forth through all sorts of situations. the really prepared him for arms control negotiations with the former soviet union, which
president trump rated -- president ronald reagan had commenced. before start treaty which george herbert walker signed took nine years to bring about. which many ofhing us in congress dealt with as we went first to geneva at the behest of president reagan, but then continued on our work. i mention all of this because george herbert walker bush understood arms control. he understood the dangers to our the huge amount of intercontinental ballistic missiles headed towards the united states. as i say, it took nine years to sign this treaty. but having signed it, then he went into a different phase. this is when i was able to pair up former senator sam nunn of
georgia to cooperate the threat reduction act. this occurred during george bush's term. it came because russians came to you have a lot of problems because the guards guarding the missiles aimed at you are deserting. we are bankrupt. , the act came 1991,at the very end of at a time in which the soviet union was collapsing. george bush was presiding over this situation. david: just to explain to our viewers, a live shot of the east , that is thel motorcade pulling up with the bush family. they will be assembling at the foot of the steps as the casket is brought out from the rotunda, where it is laying and state. let's go back to this nuclear arms limitation reduction issue. you are very much identified
--h senator stamm none senator sam nunn and the nunn- and what that meant in terms of nuclear arms that needed to be controlled. they didn't even have the money to dispose of them. richard: know. -- no. that was the point, to get personnel over to the soviet union to sure this thing up. , so a missile would not be fired, and furthermore, to begin taking down the missiles, ticking off the warheads, taking out the material. that was controversial. there were people in my werelican party -- there going to have to be a lot of money to finance this, as well as personnel. it was a very difficult situation taylor: as i mentioned
-- difficult situation. as i mentioned, the soviet union collapsed within a few weeks after that, officially. you had a period of time in which president george herbert walker bush was presiding over this dissolution and disarmament period. we were heading into a recession on the domestic scene. he had that problem to deal with , as to how to gain reelection at the same time he was dealing with the soviets on one hand and the american economy on the other. david: it is an important point about president george herbert walker bush that he was sensible, andwas he was not afraid to make tough decisions, even if it might hurt him politically. as you say, there had been an entire cold war and a lot of animosity toward the soviet union. giving them money was not at the top of people's minds.
watching now, the honor guard assembled on the steps. you see the dignitaries gathering now in the national cathedral. talk to us about what he did with respect to specifically the fall of the soviet union, and the reunification of germany as well. we had angela merkel say he is really a godfather of the unified germany. richard: he was very knowledgeable about germany because he was knowledgeable about everything in foreign affairs. he was a person literally having served the united states at the united nations and likewise, and cia and elsewhere, who really had the background which is in comparable in terms of recent american presidents. inunderstood the elements germany, as well as russia or elsewhere, for that matter. it was tremendous for the united
-- it was tremendously important for the united states at that point. david: this has been sometimes a difficult relationship for a president who is commander-in-chief and wants to make decisions as an executive keeping congress informed and even asking permission. for example, the gulf war. what was that like as he pulled the coalition together? richard: the point is he did consult with congress. he had many meetings in which the congressional leaders, both house and senate, foreign affairs committee, armed services committee, intelligence committees and what have you, actually met around the table at the white house. this was not just an occasional situation. it was very frequent. he had very good personal relationships with these members. that was important likewise. he took congress very seriously. in fact, he did have this background of knowledge respected by all of us. it may be conversations especially vital. david: what is left of that
legacy? let me give you a specific example. as i say, he was really important in the reunification of germany, and also expanding , cohesive,eal important instrument of u.s. foreign policy. is that changing? does that still exist? was that the right strategy, to expand nato the way he did? richard: it was the right strategy, and he knew what he was doing. he had the background in his work at the united nations and elsewhere to be able to pull out off. -- to pull that off. i think it is especially important now. president trump has been less enthusiastic about nato, to say the least. he's charged people with not paying their dues and so forth. the fact is that the rewards .ave worked perpetually they began to develop the
european union and economic business. it is german as we important in terms of peace in europe, but likewise vis-a-vis the russians, the former soviet union, or whoever else, to have this block of nations becoming prosperous, working with us in both trade and politics. david: we continue to watch the east steps of the capitol building. we are waiting for the bush family to assemble to wait for the casket of george h.w. bush to come down from the rotunda. let's turn to china for a moment. he was an envoy to china. refresh my recollection. when he was u.n. ambassador rice for that, he fought to keep republican china in the united .ations he had tiananmen square on his watch. how did he handle that very delicate tuition for the united states? richard: i thought he handled it well, historically, because he really knew china.
he was knowledgeable about it. he held a strong conviction, as you pointed out, but i the same time, he was able to shift gears and deal with current predicaments. david: we are watching congressional leadership now come to the washington national cathedral in that shot as they continue to assemble to await the arrival later this hour of president george h w bush. we are joined now by tom keene, anchor from "bloomberg surveillance." very important day. i'd like to turn now to domestic issues, and talk about what president george h.w. bush meant domestically. most of us think of him in terms of foreign policy, as we were talking about with senator lugar. of his remarkable achievements in four short years as president. but he also had a substantial role domestically, and not an
easy time of it. youth, andmber as a of course, this is ages ago, it was just assumed, it was a given , that america would always recover from recession. we would bounce back to that american vitality we knew. i would respectfully suggest we didn't know it at the time, but this was the first president that had to confront how much of that bounce back would be a bounce back. david: he did have a recession, which really hurt him badly politically, i think it is fair to say. it came on the heels of a 1980 budget deal that was very painful to him. he campaigned on saying no new taxes, and got in there and said we have a budget deficit we have to aggress -- to address, which by the way, would seem quite compared to today -- would seem today.compared to
not onlyit was difficult, but in many cases sort of impossible to get exactly what he wanted because he had this pledge of "read my lips, no new taxes." but i've you say, suddenly he realized we had this huge deficit building up and he was going to have to change. this was politically very disastrous for him, i think, at the time. he recovered in due course. but this was typical of presidents dealing with foreign policy. suddenly, the homefront happens. david: this is special bloomberg coverage on television and radio. we are waiting for the bush family to greet the casket of the departed president, george herbert walker bush, as he is brought out by the honor guard on the steps of the capitol. we are also watching the big carries a somewhat the national cathedral across town. , this deal wase
not politically popular in a lot of areas around the time of the recession, but did it give us a basis for the balanced budget under president clinton and some of the growth in the next 90's? -- in the 1990's? tom: i think there's been a lot of analysis back and forth on that. there can be different ways to interpret it based on which party you are from. i think everybody wants to take credit for it. i would suggest there is a technology overlay that was nascent then, and we underestimate how many factors had to do with it. it wasn't the narrow politics so much as the overlay of the changing service sector in america that no one really saw coming. chairman greenspan has been wonderful on this, the things that we missed. greenspan, remember, absolutely nailed the change in productivity around the time of herbert walker bush's tenure. david: do you see that coming through today?
some of the deflationary effects, for example, of technology and globalization? tom: no question about it, that is an overarching thing. as john williams of the new york fed has said, it is front and center. the technology in senator lugar's time in indiana was a little different than the huge service sector success of indiana today. david: senator, one of the things in start contrast, we have to remember nafta was negotiated and signed by president george herbert walker bush. now we have a president who says it is the worst deal ever. there was a very different approach to trade. was president bush 41 right? or have times changed so much that he no longer is right? richard: no, he was on the right track. free trade for the united states has always been the strongest policy would have. , want to affirm that very much in absolute contrast to today.
in the same way we discussed nato. he was strongly for nato. we should be strongly for nato. he was on the right track both times. david: but the population doesn't necessarily agree with that. there is a significant part of the american population who think, if it is not isolationism , america first is the way to go right now. one of the things tom was talking about. does it put pressure, that we are not getting our fair share? richard: that is true all over the world right now. we had that in the unit is -- in the united states, and elsewhere. people feel we are out of it. this happens in politics. but in the overall look in terms of the security of our country, bush was on the right track. tom: senator lugar, candy republican party get back to the lugars of another time and place? i noticed the other day in california, which is a republican stronghold right now,
they went from 35% to 29% registered republicans, to now a stunning 25%. david wasserman at the cook political report talk about how the democrats capture the diversity of indiana and every other state in the nation. how do the republicans begin at the margin to bring back the republicans another time and place? richard: i think the lugar republicans are going to have to make the case for a nation in the same way that george herbert walker bush did, a constructive case in terms of foreign policy, free trade, climate change. to begin talking really policy really that's really positively about these things -- begin talking positively about these things. but at some point, people gain respect that this is the right track for our country. that after this
election, a shift of this by the republican party? i would say if you look at the midterm election overall, the entire spectrum shifted to the right. it is the more extreme republicans intend to get elected, and democrats elected tend to be more moderate. i wonder whether we as a country are shifting somewhat to the right of it. richard: perhaps. but at the same time, we've shifted back and forth various times. if i could add a personal thought about george herbert walker bush, at the time he was coming into the presidency, he called me out to his home on observatory hill to talk. we had a wonderful conversation. i began to get imagination that i might be his selection for vice president. this continued, really, for quite a while. we talked at the republican national convention in new orleans, on the way down on the
plane. we heard hoosier was going to be nominated. [laughter] richard: in any event, when i got there, i was asked to go to one delegation after another. i was with some delegation and got word that a boat was coming along the river up from new orleans, and on it was my colleague dan quayle. [laughter] david: we've just been washing jet bush -- watching jeb bush, former governor of florida, and son of george herbert walker. also seeing his longtime tennis partner. they were thrown together in a double tournament at a country club in houston when they were young men, and they won twice. tom: senator lugar, there is not
an equivalent to george herbert walker bush and mr. baker of texas. david: you can see the bush family gathering at the foot of the east steps of the capitol waiting for the casket. that is george w. bush and laura bush. extraordinary plan. tom: it was extremely for me to go back today and reread -- i guess i knew it, but forgot -- of our national cathedral. it took 93 years to build, seven years left the notre dame. affected by the earthquake recently, the great virginia earthquake, as well. the history of it moving from an episcopal church project to something of a nation's church as well, how is it positioned within the day-to-day washington you lived for so long? where does the cathedral fit into the day-to-day washington? richard: it may not be
day-to-day, but it six in perfectly in terms of our nation -- it fits in perfectly in terms of our nation's capital and ceremony, such as we are witnessing today, and various others. it also fits into the education of our children. i have a grandson who has been there.then to services it is just a very, very important part of the capital. david: we are looking out over the east steps, the honor guard for me to bring the casket out from the rotunda come over the president has been lying in state. as i recall, when they first started it, a lot of people particularly in europe said you can't do that today. we did that in the 13th or 14th century. you can't do that today. you don't have the stonemasons or wherewithal. and he did it in a record short period of time.
tom: the art of the gothic cathedral in america is a tried and proven thing in many great cities across the nation. it was started by an acclaimed english architect, and he died and his assistant took over and lived a very full life. they couldn't even finish for the second in command. david: let's listen in for just a moment. that is the president's casket being carried out by the honor guard on the east steps of the capitol. ♪ chief"] ♪o the
david: we havedavid: been watching as the casket of president bush has been put in the hearse by the honor guard. the family is now going into their limousines, and they will proceed by motorcade outside of pennsylvania avenue to the national cathedral for the funeral there. it is time now for a couple of last thoughts. tom, you had a great quote from john meacham, who will give the eulogy. tom: usual wordings, including alan simpson. book, i meacham, his will be honest. i was kidding him about it. i have read it cover to cover.
david: he is the one person who can do the autobiography the best. tom: this is a morning must-read i had earlier on "bloomberg surveillance" with john meacham writing in "the new york times" the other day. do we have this? do we have a major quote available? david: i want to do an interpretive reading. --bush struggled to govern there you go. tom: it is an inescapable fact of history. as bush struggled to govern like ike, the world around him was beginning to resemble a joe mccarthy rally. what mattered to president bush was not what one said or did to rise to ultimate authority. what mattered was whether one was principled and selfless once in command. i think it is beautiful. the shift from dwight david eisenhower to mccarthy and the
illusion that has what we are witnessing today was well done by mr. meacham. david: it makes a point. it is a mistake to think that president bush was simply a nice guy. he was a nice guy to those who knew him well but there was a field to him. when he needed to fight in a campaign, he knew how to fight and do not hesitate. richard: he made very tough decisions. he was a fighter. but in a way in which we have respect. david: i want to thank my alsoague, tom king, and former indiana senator richard lugar. thank you both very much. we watch the hearse the part with the motorcade for the national cathedral. i want to welcome now kevin cirilli. he is on the scene right there at the national cathedral. we have seen some of the dignitaries. i think i saw president obama and chancellor merkel. described the scene if you could. now isas the bush family
in route to the national cathedral behind me for the funeral services for former president george h.w. bush, some top global dignitaries will be a accompanying this funeral in addition to president trump and the first lady as well as german chancellor angela merkel. we watched within the past couple minutes several motorcades with flags of various different countries have made their way in here. in addition to previous presidents, including former president obama and former president george w. bush, of course mother former president's son, who will be one of the people eulogizing former president george h.w. bush. there will be members and close personal friends who will attend this, including mike lovejoy, who has worked at the bush main summer estate since 1990. this is being described by organizers as a funeral service
that has all of the staples of classic george h.w. bush. singersact, one of the at this ceremony is an irish tenor who actually performed on his deathbed for the former president while he was receiving his last rites. from here, the bush family will then go to texas, houston, texas, for a second funeral tomorrow. he willl be where ultimately be laid to rest at his presidential library. david: ok, kevin. thank you very much. are we on time as far as you can tell? seems like they were keeping to time. it is run by the joint task force national region. are they on time? kevin: they are. they are on time. they are scheduled to arrive here within the next 25 minutes.
the funeral was set to begin at 11:00 this morning and to conclude at 12:30 p.m. for the conclusion of that. as you mentioned, this is being run in conjunction with top military officials. of course, the former president previously serving in the u.s. navy. working closely with secret service officials and local law enforcement. there have been many road closures here in washington, d.c. david: one of the extra everything's in a moment like this, you see the old guard and the new guard together. you see the people there are 20, 30 years ago mingling with the people who are there today. thomas --ing karen clarence thomas right now, one of the appointees by president bush to the supreme court of the united states. what is the spirit like among the old guard and new guard? kevin: i think that is such a great point.
earlier this morning in preparing for our reporting today, we went to the omni hotel just a couple of blocks away from the national cathedral where the attendees of today's funeral were gathered. like aou saw people conservative columnist interacting with other folks and lawmakers like former senator paul. senator simpson will be eulogizing this president. there seemed to be a time of reflection.but also a time of the settlement for a time that has gone by.the current political climate in washington, d.c. obviously, has been one in stark contrast with what we saw during the bush era, during the clinton era. you saw this type of reflection must recently at the funeral for john mccain. but today, former president bush
becoming only the 12th president to lay in state at the u.s. capitol and now receiving a very high moment of reflection as national morning. president trump for his part, who does have a tepid at best relationship with the bush family, did travel to the blair house, which is located across the street from the white house, last night, early late afternoon with the first lady to talk privately for about a half hour with former president george w. bush and former first lady laura bush at the blair house . there has been a moment of reflection and pause. as you know, the list of to do items is long. it is a lengthy one. work will resume on that tomorrow. david: thank you so very much. that is kevin cirilli reporting outside the national cathedral. we will be checking in with him
from time to time. this is continually special coverage of bloomberg television and radio. what is happening now is the motorcade has just gone on to pennsylvania avenue as it drives up to the national cathedral. in the meantime, guests are gathering, dignitaries are gathering, heads of state are gathering in the national cathedral, waiting for the motorcade and the casket, the herbertf president walker bush. we welcome someone to whom we always turn when major events happen in washington. union president bush decently well. -- you knew president bush decently well. tell us something about him. >> we heard about what a kind and civil and decent man he was, all of which is true. the also was a very competitive man. he was a competitive man in sports, golf. he would play nine holes in 45 minutes. david: extraordinary. >> he was competitive in
politics, too. one of the lesser moments of his life was the 1998 campaign against michael dukakis. he let people do some things that they should not have done, but that reflected that competitiveness. most of it was good. as a president, he was not a passive president at all. some of the right wing in the party drove him crazy. david: he seemed to have a strong sense that sometimes you have to do things to get into position of power to do some good. and then get into the position of power and govern differently. true. veryabsolutely few things that he did while governing that you could say was distasteful. you could disagree with it but he did it and did it anyway he could enlist democrats or at least have democrats understand what he was doing. david: what is left of the legacy? what remains? washington changes every four years, every eight years. certainly an awful lot has
changed since 1988. >> sad to say not much today. hopefully at some point me to look back and say those arteries begin try to emulate but it is hard to say that we can really was store the sense of governing, that kind of republicanism. it just does not exist today. david: we are watching the honor guard. we have been watching as well -- yes, you can see it if you are watching television. on radio, we will tell you what is happening. a motorcade on its way on pennsylvania avenue to the national cathedral. waiting in the cathedral for the casket of george h.w. bush will be dignitaries, including former presidents as well as heads of state, members of president bush's own cabinet, and the white house staff, as well as current leaders in washington. we are setting it up, and it should start at 11:00. maybe 20 minutes from right now. so, al, what about the
father-son relationship? not since john quincy adams did we have a president have a son who was also president. make?ifference did that did it make george w. bush a different president, a better president? they did not always necessarily cii with each other, even though president bush the seniors said he does not want to see daylight between the two of them. >> i think if you paid more attention to his father, he would have been a better president. they had a stressful relationship going up, even while younger bush was president. in the post 43 presidency, they find greatind -- did common ground. in the busch home, there was a nice portrait that 43 had done for 41. i wish he had listened to his dad a little bit more because his dad knew the iraq war was going to be a disaster.
david: what affected george -- what affect did george h.w. bush have on the party? where are the more moderate republicans? are the republicans anymore or do they need to leave the republican party? is there a caucus we may not hear much from right now that is more of the old-fashioned moderates? >> there are some close to it, but they have been quiet. where is lamar alexander? where is rob portman? they don't speak up now. if they don't, the party will be quiet and be dominated by the right wing. that at least would be the safer production right now. david: in fairness how much of that is the country? >> i don't think the country wants a right-wing government. the country would be very happy with george bush barack obama,. what is to the left of the center. one is to the right of the center. i think the country wants
yahoos. david: we will bring in now linda douglass. an old colleague. great to be with you in a different setting. also, alan litman. celinda, give us your -- so linda, give us your thoughts. linda: one of the things that struck me, i was taking back to watching his campaign when he was running in the shadow of ronald reagan. ronald reagan was an incredibly popular president. one of his main messages was putting back patriotism. how do we look in the eyes of the world? what are our values? freedom, opportunity, democracy. in thosertant to note times that we would look like the country in the world that was the shining city on the hill. ran on thately message. i remember he was in a factory during the campaign and
promoting having the pledge of allegiance required in all the schools. he was a foreign-policy president, which wound up on doing him in the end because when the recession hit when he was president of the u.s., they thought he was spending way too much time running around the world being a foreign-policy president. but it was that sense of patriotism that really defined so much of the messaging as he was running for president. david: one of the things that strikes me listening to alan douglas here is we had a president go from that high of an opinion rating to that level of an opinion rating that quickly. after the gulf war, he could do no wrong. some were saying the democrats should nominate him because no one could take him. yet it plummeted. >> it was a sort of a permit foul off the cliff. --n he went up to about
they were still going over every other democrat to get out of the race. but as you know, i have a prediction system called the keys to the white house, and i was predicting that george h.w. bush, because of the problems with the economy, being a one term president. none of them listened, but i got a call from bill clinton's special assistant. i sent him a memo and said you will be the next president of the u.s. david: did your pretty consistent predict ross perot? was in his presence in that race important? >> it was absolutely pivotal. hhat was the critical sixt key. that was really not of his own making. presidents hold their destiny in their own hands. sometimes that is not true. sometimes events are bigger than they are. david: did george h.w. bush make no content possible? i
say that with a little irony because -- make bill clinton possible? i say that with a little irony because he said he could not win because he did not have a character for it. bill clinton a very different person from george h.w. bush. did it change in the sense that we got over monica lewinsky? >> did that. he was talking about character in a different sense. they became great friends. david: barbara bush used to refer to him as the fifth bush son. they did wonderful things together. --i don't think any of them that is character in a much broader sense. that is not sexual infidelities and things of that sort. i'm totally convinced having looked at a lot of numbers back then that ross perot clearly affected the campaign. clinton would have won even without ross perot. carefully, at it there is no question bush would not have won two thirds of the
voters. >> that's not the way it works. linda: he was symptomatic of what happened. he was the first sign you could not be a moderate george h.w. bush republican and get away with it. >> historically, george h.w. bush is a transitional figure. a transitional figure between the republican party as it existed from eisenhower to bush and the current republican party. the old republican party was welcoming to immigrants, resolutely free trade, absolutely international, and believed in promoting american values abroad. welcoming, much more than we understand, to civil rights an. we have now gone to america first, the nationalist, building the walls around america. the transition historically is stunning. >> everything you say is true, but it was also true of bush 43. h.w.at's why i say
david: i wonder if there is another difference. the extension to which outsiders were brought into the inner circle. looking at president trump now walking into the national cathedral. looking at presidentthe extent t trump brought outsiders, people who are not from the mainstream, whether you are right or left, mainstream people. even with barack obama. linda: the most important thing you can bring to political office, high political office, was experienced. experience in government, policymaking, understanding, expertise in whatever area is, whether it is foreign policy or the environment or education, whatever the area is. you are supposed to be bringing long years of experience and expertise, which is absolutely what george h.w. bush did. all the way through barack obama.
now it is an asset not to have government experience, to come from the outside, to have experienced that is very different. david: it makes a more fundamental point to which the country does not trust people with experience. isn't that what donald trump really tapped into? i'm not part of that establishment. >> clearly tapped into that. the country may not be paying a price but some of the people who thought that maybe paying a price because you see what happens when you get amateurs in there and don't know anything. >> this is the myth of the outsider. the outsider is very appealing. the jimmy carter, the donald trump. but you have to govern. that are very different people, carter and trump, but they both have problems governing. >> carter did not bring in these people. it was quite different. david: but the one thing we can all agree on is you look at these people, the people were on george h.w. bush's team, boy,
they were really a dream team. especially with foreign-policy. linda: many of them have endured in the public eye for better or worse. certainly dick cheney, who later became george w. bush's vice president, became a controversial character but nobody questioned whether he had experience and knowledge and expertise in what he was doing. you look at james baker. time he over again over has proven he was in the ordinary public servant and mind, too. we are talking about really intelligent educated people and brought all of that to government. david: many thanks to linda. linda: thank you. we see president jimmy carter was president bill clinton sitting and waiting for the service to begin, which will begin a few moments from now.
maybe you have to say all of the former presidents share a certain bond. you can look at the way they are looking at trump, and somehow that bond is not there. i doubt it will ever be. >> it is an interesting point. although i'm told jimmy carter may be the one that was a little bit outside. he is not as close to the other presidents. >> he had a decent relationship with gerald ford. but not with the other two. you are absolutely right. david: give us a sense of the pomp and circumstance. you have been to more than one of these. >> i was at john mccain's a couple months ago. the national cathedral is this majestic place. ats about 2000 people. you really feel you are in a legal setting and a place we ought to honor our country and our great heroes and former presidents. david: it is so much a fabric of our country, what weaves us
together, this narrative that we all come together at an occasion. a sad occasion, but we all come together with certain rituals, certain ways of doing this. >> very important. you put your finger on something critical.we do not have kings and queens in america so our presidents are head of government and head of state. even in death, our presidents still have this special mystical bond with the american people that is unique to the presidency. we have very few rituals and perhaps our greatest ritual, our most solid ritual that bonds us together is the presidential funeral. >> when nixon died, the family was going to have a private ceremony.it was bill clinton that convinced them to have what amounted to a state funeral out there. david: ok. we want to bring in our washington bureau chief now. why don't you come in and join us? you know the beltway terribly well. what effect does this have on
the social setting within the beltway? there is a certain social ecosystem. >> sure. it is interesting to me that voters seem to like a certain amount of partisan bloodsport. that is how we like our presidents. we went through a pretty tough midterm to see who will run congress. but i do think every now and then the country likes a chance. the city likes a chance to come together around a moment. in this case, a president that was probably better liked and better respected after his presidency perhaps than even during. he was a bit of an accidental president in terms of the third term of ronald reagan. we don't get many third chances for the same party. we tend to stop the parties back and forth. you have a person in this town casting a pretty big shadow.for a lot of people , it is a chance to remember a simpler time even know by tomorrow i suspect we may well be back to fighting it out over whether there will be a shutdown
and did we actually get a good deal with china? but it is interesting to me. every now and then, we need a break from the warfare and coming together around something that is sort of sad and celebratory at the same time. something washington definitely likes to do. david: president trump has buried his behavior a little bit. he was very gracious to the bush family. he visited them. he went up and saluted the casket. these are people he had not very pleasant things to say. he said, let's not worry about the shutdown of the government right now. right now, more a traditional president. >> he is behaving normally, which is unusual. that is the lead. i also think i can safely predict it will not last. we will be back to what is his normal by tomorrow. look. the bush family does not like
him. he does not like the bush family. he resents most people that are not named trump. so, yes, i think you are right. he did behave himself and did what a president should do. >> how low is that bar? david: continuing special coverage on bloomberg television and radio of the funeral of george herbert walker bush. we are all watching right now as the hearse carrying the casket of the late president is pulling up just to the national cathedral. we have the former presidents gathered and the current president, president donald j. trump. we will have eulogies from four people. jon meacham, the former prime minister of canada, very close personally to president george h.w. bush, also, alan simpson, the former senator, and of course the president's own son, george w. bush. the hearse is pulling up right now to the front of the national cathedral. craig said he wasn't
accidental president. he was also an accident in the sense that he was not ronald reagan's first choice to be his running mate. they tried to put together the dream ticket with gerald ford. only when that fell through at the last minute did reagan turn to bush. david: final thought. i would like to hear as we are watching the hearse whole up and the honor guard assembled. >> my final thought is we should not let this moment just go by. we should really think about not only the kind of decent, honorable and patriotic man, george h.w. bush was, but also the real possibility of coming together behind the good of the nation. bush didy george h.w. not have domestic vision, ye he engineeredt one of the most important pieces of legislation in american history, americans with disabilities act. reached across the aisle.
tens of millions of americans have benefited from that. nows remember that moment and let it not disappear. >>. they really noble sentiment. you said he will have to get back to business. this one event, as important as it is, this one event will change everyone's hearts. at the same time, we have a large entering freshman class. this will be their first exposure to washington. a different kind of class.women, veterans .it is quite different . what might be the effect on them as they go about their business and try to set a new course for congress? >> you would love to think some of these folks coming in would take a lesson from this. if there is a lesson to be taken, this is actually about public service. they are literally going to three fundraisers a night.
i'm sure many of them have begun fundraising for the reelection bid in 2020. it is a good moment to catch a webreath and pause as are here in the service of the people trying to get something done, even if you disagree with the person across the aisle. we are all americans trying to move this country forward. that is probably something a lot of these new members fresh off of the better part of the midterms would do well to remember. david: such an important point. going all the way back to volunteering for the navy on his 18th birthday before he went to yale.he had a lifetime of service. i think it was mitch mcconnell at the ceremony when they brought the casket in he referred to bless a wage and a positive term. he came from a fairly privileged background in fairness. yet he had a powerful sense of the need to give back. >> yeah.
he is probably the last of that particular generation. i heard you talking earlier about his resume. that is a platinum plated resume. cia chief and ambassador to china. i'm not sure right now. that would be a liability. he's a washington insider as opposed to a person who has breadth and death and global experience, bringing that to the oval office. very few people can come to the job that way, and voters seem ok with that. but i think we are losing a little bit of something.i'm not just talking about donald trump . talking more broadly about people that bring life experiences, work experiences, governmental experiences into the public service. washington outsider but he did not start out that way. he started his own oil company and made a fair amount of money. he did not need this gig. he was going to just find in houston.