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tv   41 on 41  CNN  August 31, 2014 3:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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i will never forget that realization and that loneliness. i know exactly whatwett wetterlings are going through. >> don't miss "the hunt" tonight at 9 p.m. eastern on cnn. i'm brianna keilar. "41 on 41" begins right now. george h.w. bush has led a very public life since his election to the house of representatives in 1966. he went on to serve as ambassador to the united nations, director of the cia, vice president, of course, to ronald reagan and finally, served as the nation's 41st president, leaving office in 1993. for the first time, the george bush presidential library and museum is chronicling the personal life of the former president through 41 different voices. world leaders, politicians, friends and family tell their stories of the former president and his life away from the cameras and away from the
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spotlight. they paint a picture of a man who is often funny, loving and devoted to public service, even in the most difficult times of his presidency. they also describe a man who, more than anything else, put his family first. their stories are sometimes surprising. in the words of george w. bush, his father is a man who takes himself lightly but his responsibilities seriously. >> george's mother was a gentle, wonderful soul, and both his mother and father taught him by example. she gave george this bible and i think that poem does reflect george bush's life. "i would be true for there are
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those who trust me." >> i would be true -- >> i would be true -- >> for there are those who trust me. >> those who trust me. >> trust me. >> "i would be pure for there are those who care." >> those who care. >> "our challenges are great, but our will is greater." >> "i would be strong for there is much to suffer." >> i would be strong -- >> for there is much to suffer. >> "i would be brave for there is much to dare." >> i fought for my country. >> i would be brave -- >> i served. >> -- for there is much to dare. >> "i would be friend to all, the foe, the friendless."
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>> i would be friend to all, the foe the friendless. >> "i would be giving and forget the gift." >> i am running for president because i honestly deeply believe i can change things. >> "i would be humble --" >> i know my weakness. >> "-- for i know my weakness." >> a thousand points of light. >> "i would look up and laugh and love and live." >> when we were first married, i had no idea what my life was going to be. might have scared me if i had known, but nobody in the world has ever had the life i've had. i've had none of the responsibilities and all of the joys of being the wife of george bush. >> i, george herbert walker bush, do solemnly swear -- >> george bush took himself lightly and took his responsibilities to help his fellow man seriously.
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and he's a man of enormous love. >> he achieved the highest office in the land, but he did not abandon any of his principles, any of his decency, any of his caring for his fellow man. >> he would always ask you about your family. no matter who he talked to at the white house, groundskeepers, guy cutting the grass, he knew your name. and he never asked you how's your wife or how's your son. he would call them by name. >> in crucial things, unity. in important things, diversity. in all things, generosity. >> on my twitter profile, i have one of my grandfather's quotes. and it's "any definition of a successful life must include service to others." >> when people are giving back, those contributions are what clearly bridges all of us, democrat, republican, independent, and it's fair to say that you couldn't have a
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better model for that than george h. w. bush. >> i think george bush saw politics as the path to public service. >> you think about his service to us as a nation, to be a war hero, to be an ambassador to china, u.s. representative at the u.n., to be the vice president of the united states, to be the president of the united states, to be the father of a future president. this man has affected this country and served this country in so many ways. >> he could pound his chest and say look at all i've done, but instead, he would always say this is what i believe in. >> he just has an extraordinary sense of humor. and sometimes, it catches you off guard. and when he can turn a prank against someone, it's always delicious for him. >> he has a rare humor, loves a good story.
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can't remember a punchline, but loves a good story. >> i really wanted to get it down to the bare essence of just -- i keep hearing that president bush is doing it. did you see? he did it on tv. he did it again. so he actually became pretty good at the impression of himself. >> i have interviewed or known eight presidents, maybe nine, and if i had to drive from boston to st. louis with one of them, the one i would pick to go with would be george bush, sr. >> you can't be around president bush and not come away a better person yourself. it's impossible. he will rub off on you.
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he's the sort of person that you like being around. he makes you want to be a little bigger, a little better. i do believe if there were more people like him, the world would be a better place. >> i arrived at andover in 1941, september, and we had a system at andover where they did a form of hazing for new boys. they had everyone who was new had to wear a little blue beanie, so you couldn't escape it. and that first week, as i was on my way for i think lunch, this guy said, okay, i want you to come over with me to my room, i've got a big stuffed chair. i want you to get that chair over to my new room.
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and i weighed about 105 pounds at that time. and i looked at the chair and i couldn't possibly lift the damn thing. and so i'm now outside and i'm trying to move that chair. and finally, i realize can't do it and i say i can't do it, i'm sorry, i cannot move that chair, at which point peter got me in a hammerlock, with my right arm behind my back and started to put pressure on. and i remember my phrase was, "you can break it off, i can't move it." at which point, i heard the words, "leave the kid alone." peter dropped me like a hot potato and the next thing i knew, i'm standing there, he's moving the chair back to his dorm and i asked somebody who was standing there also, "who the heck was that"? and the answer was that was papi bush. i said what is papi bush?
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the answer was he's just the best guy in the school. then i learned that papi bush was a soccer player and he played baseball. and starting that fall, whenever there was a home game, i was out there just looking at the guy who kept me from being bullied by that s.o.b. and all i knew was i had a hero that has been a hero for my whole life. >> when i think about my grandfather and the incredible man that he is, i think about this incredible strength that he embodies, but it's really a strength that comes through an amazingly gentle soul. he really is of an older age of thought in american society, and i think that world war ii was a defining time in my grandfather's life.
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>> you know, he joined the navy at 18. he graduated from high school and he had a scholarship at yale, but he elected to go into the service. >> i have asked him, why did you sign up. and gampy said he remembers sitting in an andover auditorium right after pearl harbor was attacked, and there was this spirit that, you know, he wanted to be a part of. he wanted to go and defend america. he wanted to go and be part of something bigger than himself. he became the youngest naval aviator in the history of the navy at that time to earn his flying wings. i don't think there's a day that goes by my grandfather doesn't think about those two men who were in his plane that shot down those two young boys. and they were younger than i am now, and only one survived. it was my grandfather. and i think part of him has wanted to live a full life, in part ,to honor those two men. >> i remember asking him about .
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>> i remember asking him abou t. >> i remember asking him about that flight where he was hit with heavy flak going in. i said, "what did you see, why didn't you bail out?" he said, "i had some flame under my wings." i said, "that's where your fuel tanks are. why didn't you bail out then?" and he looked at me for what appeared to be the longest time, and he said, "i hadn't completed my mission." and that embodied george bush's life. i added a word to his speech that year in which he talked about running for president and he said the words -- >> this is my mission and i will complete it. >> and you always had the feeling with him that whatever he said, he would do. >> i always thought the larger impact of world war ii on president bush was that he got to know the rest of america. he had grown up in new england, in a patrician family. he had anything that you could
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want as a young man, in terms of opportunity and education. and yet he quickly volunteered for service. and then when he was in the service, he got to know working-class kids from the middle west or he got to know people from the barrios of the southwest. he had to read their mail, because as an officer, he was censoring what they were sending home. he said at 18 or 19, i learned a lot about the sex drive, for example. and i learned a lot about not having air conditioning when you live in the city. i thought that was probably the most instructive part of world war ii for him, in addition to going in harm's way to defend your country. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. easily absorbed calcium plus d. beauty is bone deep. ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce ♪ sweet, sweet st. thomas nice ♪ so nice, so ni-i-i-ce
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you know your dunlike natural teeth. try new fixodent plus true feel. the smooth formula helps keep dentures in place. it's free of flavors and colorants. for a closer feeling to natural teeth. fixodent. and forget it. george bush came back as a decorated war hero after world war ii and resumed his education at yale. and ended up being captain of the yale baseball team that became champions that year. there's a great photograph of babe ruth just six months before his death coming to be part of a ceremony with george bush, the captain of the yale champs.
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the president loved the game, even when he was in the white house, i think he recognized how crucial and important it was, and i think part of his extended love of the game is that he felt it was part of the american tradition. >> well, the president enjoyed having sports teams come to the white house just because he was involved in so many sports himself. and he was always inviting teams to come or individuals to come. and the highlight for me was one day when he invited joe dimaggio and ted williams to come to the white house. >> when i was chief of staff in 1991, which happened to be the year of the 50th anniversary for two great achievements by two of baseball's all-time greats, ted williams being the last batter to hit .400, he hit .406 in 1941, and joe dimaggio also had his 56-game hitting streak.
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>> i have a confession. i didn't think that i would get to meet royalty so soon after the queen's visit, but nevertheless, here they are. i was 17 years old during their famous 1941 season, and 50 years later, that '41 season just remains the season of dreams. >> my wife, rosie and i, were invited down to the bush library and museum. they maintained an apartment at the library, which mr. and mrs. bush took us up to see. and in the living room, hanging over the couch, were five photographs. the big picture in the center, the one nobody could possibly miss seeing, was of president bush with ted williams and joe dimaggio in the rose garden. but the thing that struck me was what a marvelous photograph it was of each of the three, and each of the three had signed it.
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and so i expressed genuine enthusiasm for the photograph. two weeks after rosie and i had returned to boston, a big tube arrived in the mail, and it was the picture, and it's one of our family's treasures now. it was just such a sign of not just the president's generosity, but his natural spirit of friendship. >> i would be pure -- >> for there are those -- >> i think the most famous trademark was his note writing and his thoughtfulness. >> the guy wrote thousands of handwritten notes to people all around the country. >> no matter what was going on, no matter what controversy was swirling, he would write that note, he would make that phone call in the middle of absolute pandemonium. >> the best stuff is when he leaves a message on your phone.
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"hey, mike, this is george bush 41 down here in houston. 903 games. wow, no one has ever done that before." >> go to a hotel as president of the united states and the doormen open the door for him, would help him, he would write the guy a note. >> how good is that? that's president bush. >> there are those who care. >> time of my life when i was really at my lowest, i was just rock bottom in terms of people i had let down, and of course, just gampy, in his classic way, he would send a note and give me the perspective that someone's always got my back. >> president bush does not have a bad temper. >> the president never raised his voice. >> but there would be a look in his eye that everybody understood. >> the eyes narrow just a little bit and the head tilts forward. >> then he will start chewing on his cheek. >> he would just give this -- >> just sort of kind of -- >> and the only thing to do at that point was run. >> i saw it once only. and it wasn't for me.
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dad gave this unnamed famous person the look. >> oh, yeah. so i said the great gift of his is unconditional love, but i tested the unconditionality part of it. >> there is something about my father. there's a boundary that you don't go across. mom has the rules, dad has the standards. dad only enforces the rules by being such a great dad that you wouldn't want to disappoint him. >> the summer after i graduated from college, i was in kennebunkport, maine, i went to lunch with my grandfather on his boat. the one possession he really cares about is his speedboat. he calls it fidelity. he's had five editions of it now. >> he's a natural captain. >> the president, that's his passion. he loved driving his boat. >> my dad has two speeds when he's in his boat, neutral and all out. the rougher the seas, the better
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for him. >> nobody in my family touches fidelity, because they know how much he values it. we went to lunch and we pulled back in and the tide was very low, and my grandfather said, "you know, pierce, why don't you take it out for me." this is an amazing moment to be asked to take the boat to the mooring is a huge amount of responsibility, and he hasn't really offered it to me, so i felt really special. you know, as fate would have it, the boat ended up on the rocks. did not make it to the mooring. i beg to say it was not my fault but because i was the man at the helm, it was my fault and i felt terrible about it. >> i saw it from my office window, and it was just so shocking to see fidelity up on those rocks. and unfortunately, it sat there for a very long time, because they had to wait for the tide to
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come in. and to keep it from shattering on the rocks, a bunch of guys, volunteers, pierce, of course, some off-duty secret service agents, they held on to the boat with ropes just to try to keep it as stable as possible. it was not a good day. >> i was so down in the dumps about it. to add insult to injury, the next day, my grandmother's a little bit more of a rules person than my grandfather, and one of her rules is you cannot take her smart car without asking her permission. well, she had just had double-knee surgery and i thought she's not going to be driving her car, and i don't want to wake her up from a nap, so i'm going to take my cousin robert to a movie. long story short, i returned home, i was down in the dumps about the boat. ganny gave me an ass chewing is probably the only way to really describe it about taking her car without asking her. and i literally -- i was 22 at the time. i like broke into tears and had to run off the room like a
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little kid. and really, i literally could not have done more harm, in my opinion, at this time. and i looked on my bed and there was this note sitting on my bed and it was addressed to "my man, pierce." it was my grandfather's very distinct handwriting. it said this -- it said, "pierce, i remember days where i felt i could do nothing right, but then the sun would come up and a bright day would embrace me. do not worry about the boat or car incidents. you are a good man who got a bad bounce, but all is well, believe me. i hate to see you worrying in doubt. you brighten my life, so forget yesterday and today's little" and he underlined "little incidents. you're the man and i love you. gammy does, too. gampy." he has this amazing ability to sense when somebody's down and has this amazing ability in his own unique way to lift that person up.
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in hindsight, i'm glad the boat crashing incident happened, because i'll have this note for the rest of my life. and every time i'm down on something, i will pull it up and you know, my grandfather's words will lift me up. ♪ ♪ it's time to bring it out in the open. it's time to drop your pants for underwareness, a cause to support the over 65 million people who may need depend underwear. show them they're not alone and show off a pair of depend. because wearing a different kind of underwear, is no big deal. join us. support the cause and get a free sample of depend at having a perfectly nice day, when out of nowhere a pick-up truck slams into your brand new car.
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one of the things about president bush that i think people uniformly say is he's a nice guy, and it's true. he is as much of a gentleman and gracious and generous as anybody i know.
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so the question is how did he end up getting to be president of the united states, because the idea is somehow public service precludes nice people. >> to my friends and yes, i do mean friends, in the loyal opposition and yes, i mean loyal, i put out my hand. i'm putting out my hand to you, mr. speaker. i'm putting out my hand to you, mr. majority leader. for this is the thing, this is the age of the offered hand. >> a lot of people don't remember when my dad was elected president, the democrats controlled the congress and so working in a bipartisan way was essential to get things done. and from the inauguration all the way through his four years as president, in spite of an increasing harshness of the political debate, he did what he could to build consensus. >> i think george bush understood and still understands
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that the way we judge our presidents is on the basis of what elements of their program they get passed through the congress, and implemented into law. >> the american people await action. they didn't send us here to bicker. they asked us to rise above the merely partisan. >> if you go back and look at the four years that george bush was president, you will see more substantive, comprehensive bipartisan pieces of legislation passed than perhaps any four years in a long time. >> he got a clean air act, the civil rights bill of 1990. he worked hard to get the americans with disabilities act passed. people do remember the budget agreement, and that budget agreement was much more significant than people realize. it forced the congress that worked with his successor, bill clinton, to come up with balanced budgets, which really made a huge difference in the economy.
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>> he had earned a lot of respect and trust from governors, republicans and democrats around the country, and it was an invitation for civil dialogue. >> the agreement that we get won't be the best deal possible, but in my judgment, it will be the best deal possible with this congress. >> he loved to invite people to be part of the solution, regardless of their philosophical or partisan persuasion. >> his method of friendship and legislating was person to person. didn't matter how liberal they were or conservative they were. if they had to do with doing something for america, he was pushing for it. >> quietly, george bush, sr. has taken on a lot of very hard jobs. he, throughout his life, has shown great courage. jim baker told me a great story. when bush was a young congressman, the open housing
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vote was coming up in congress. >> you know, i was a southerner. i knew how important that open housing law was. and he was one of these new republican congressmen from texas and he voted for it. >> i was at the time still a nominal democrat, as most everybody was in texas, particularly lawyers, and i remember it was a very, very difficult vote for him because it ran totally contrary to the wishes of many of his backers. >> george bush got a lot of flack from his district. there was still a lot of bigotry and a lot of discrimination in texas and the south, because people wanted to be able to exclude people from neighborhoods if they were not of their same race or their same creed, and this law was going to abolish that and make that illegal. and he just said, i'm going to
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support it regardless of the fallout. >> baker said he went to a school gymnasium with bush, and bush walked through the gymnasium, people were screaming, no, no, no, booing him. and he got in front of that crowd and he said these men fought with me in the pacific and they have a right to live wherever they want to live. >> you know, we were so proud of him for doing it, but some major donors pulled out and got very angry. but as in so many cases in his life, he had the courage to do what he thought was right, regardless of the public opinion. ever since we launched snapshot, my life has been positively cray-cray. what's snapshot, you ask? only a revolutionary tool that can save you big-time. just plug it in, and the better you drive, the more cash you'll stash. switching to progressive can already save ye $500. snapshot could save ye even more. meat maiden! bringeth to me thine spiciest wings of buffalo.
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the president in making his decisions made decisions not just for the moment, but for the future. fall of the berlin wall is another case where the president didn't take advantage of what could have been very popular, but did the right thing. >> the berlin wall is still
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standing, but its significance as a barrier to freedom has crumbled. >> the day the berlin wall came down is one that's indelibly etched in my memory. we quickly got ourselves together and went over to the oval office and talked the president through what was happening there. >> i thought you know, mr. president, we probably ought to have a press conference or you need to have some kind of statement for the press just to put this in historical perspective and say how you feel. and his first reaction was, no, i don't want to do that. >> so we said to him mr. president, you have to go to berlin, you have to go for kennedy, you have to go for truman, you have to go for reagan, all of whom were associated with monumental events in berlin's history. and he very quietly just said, what would i do if i went to berlin, dance on the wall? this is a german moment, not an american moment. and we need to make it so." >> marvin fitzwater called and told the president we can't hold off any longer. you've got to make some kind of a comment to the press. so the president asked the press delegation to come into his office. >> they were shouting and screaming, you would think it was a birthday celebration, and leslie stahl goes right up to the edge of the president's desk
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and leslie has this long arm, and pointed finger, she was pointing at the president, mr. president, what do you think about this? >> you don't seem elated. i'm wondering if you're thinking of the problems -- >> [ inaudible ] i'm very pleased. i have been very pleased with a lot of other developments. >> the press were jumping all over him about not showing any emotion when the berlin wall came down because we had won the cold war. >> the image of east germans dancing on top of the berlin wall is a welcome sight in washington but the bush administration is taking a cautious approach. >> the president said look, i got bigger things, more important things, to do. he was absolutely right. we still had a lot of stuff we needed to do with the leaders of the soviet union. >> and he didn't have to wait long, actually, because he met with gorbachev a month after the wall came down. >> we had prepared a very long opening statement in which president bush was going to talk
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about the great events unfolding and the responsibilities of the united states and the soviet union for the peaceful end of the hostilities between the two countries, and it was i thought quite eloquent since i had personally prepared it, but george bush put the paper aside and he said they've prepared all of this for me to say. i just want to talk to you about the responsibility and the opportunity that we have before us. i thought wow, that was really something. and gorbachev relaxed and you could see the weight come from his shoulders, too, and then they just talked. >> i'm especially glad we had this meeting, and we did gain a deeper understanding of each other's views. we set the stage for progress across a broad range of issues. >> he understood the pressures on mikhail gorbachev, both culturally, from members of his party and government there,
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members of the communist party, and that he had to work as president of the united states to allow these changes to take place in a way that did not make gorbachev feel like he was losing. and i think that's one of the great talents and arts that george bush displayed as president of the united states. >> both sides committed themselves instead to achieving a strong effective treaty. >> democracy had prevailed. nato had prevailed. the united states' values had prevailed. this was a time when any normal average person would have gloated and said we did it, we're number one, we're this, we're that. but president bush did not do that. >> i remember at the time recalling something that churchill wrote. he wrote it becoming prime minister, he felt at the moment he became prime minister that
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all his life had been a preparation for that moment. i think as the soviet union trembled on the brink of collapsing, george bush's experience, george bush's background, george bush's nature, george bush's instinct and george bush's capacity to bring things together, to enable something to happen, were crucial to helping bring that about. he truthfully might have said of that event that all his life had been a preparation for that moment. >> what i like to remind people is that there is no precedent in history for the collapse of a great empire without a major war. and the period 1989 to 1991 was one of the most momentous historically i think since world war ii, and that some day, george bush will get the credit he deserves for having managed that. >> bush developed a very close relationship with gorbachev. >> he always made gorbachev feel the equal. >> and in the end, gorbachev was essentially removed from office when the country was dissolved,
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and the first phone call he made was to george bush. >> i said to president bush, i said what was this conversation? this is extraordinary, that in the last waning moments of the soviet union, gorbachev called you. and typical of george bush, he hadn't thought much of it. he's such a humble man that he had really not seen the significance of that. >> gorbachev called him to say goodbye and to say how much it meant to him that they had had this relationship over the last couple of years, and offered to help in any way, and president bush said, "my horseshoe pit is always open, mikhail. come any time you want." uring o. we're helping protect his.
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i would be humble -- >> for i know my weakness. >> he is truly one of the most modest people i know. >> he would always tell me how his mother pounded into him ever since he was a young child, do not gloat. >> when he scored a soccer goal, she said don't tell me how you scored, how did the team do, george. >> he always says don't gloat. people will know that you're good. so he always tried to be humble. but he was humble with strength. >> when my dad was at the united nations, i lived in the waldorf with my parents, which is where the united states ambassador's residence was. and it was like eloise at the plaza but it was dora at the waldorf. >> i got to know president bush when he was the ambassador to the united nations. my admiration for him grew out of the fact that we came from
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such different backgrounds. he's the patrician, the w.a.s.p.. i'm the little jewish boy from the bronx who became temporarily notorious for my exploits as a reporter in new york. back in the early '70s, a smartass reporter wrote a piece for "new york" magazine in which he listed the ten most overrated men in new york. on the list were the president and myself. and what the bushes decided was they would invite all these guys on the list to a party. >> and so dad, in his typical way, sent out a letter and the
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letter began, dear mr. overrated so and so, i want to invite you to my house so we can look you over and see why you're so overrated. >> it was christmastime and they invited all the guys on the list to the party. the bushs were very gracious. they served us champagne and the future president stood up on these red velvet chairs and offered a toast to all those present. >> dad got up on the chair at the party and did sort of a dramatic reading of the actual article. >> we had a nice gathering and the russian ambassador was there, he was overheard to say what is this overrated thing? it was very difficult to explain to him why we're having a party cheering the overrated. >> i got a flavor of the sense of humor. here was a guy applauding an article that more sensitive souls might feel bashed him, and
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he took it as a badge of honor. i have a card here that he gave me at one point when he was vice president, "gabe, if you recall that you and i won that distinct honor in 1972. yes, we were two of the ten most overrated new yorkers. i was lucky, but you earned it. all the best, george bush." >> george bush was the quintessentially perfect vice president for ronald reagan. he knew what the role of a vice president should be. he knew you didn't get out there and talk a lot and find yourself juxtaposed against the president. >> i remember how contentious the campaign was in 1980 and he and dad were not friends particularly. >> president reagan didn't want to pick ambassador bush to be
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his vice presidential nominee, and you will remember at the 1980 convention, all the machinations about maybe getting former president ford to be the presidential nominee. >> that a former president would be considered, how would that work? >> but the fact of the matter is, those of us in the bush suite at the hotel, we watched all this happening on television, we sort of thought it was over, in terms of whether we had a chance of being picked for the number two slot. >> finally george came out and he said, "barb and i are going to bed. i just want to say it's been a wonderful evening and sorry it didn't work out." so we go out the door and at that moment, jim baker, the campaign manager, said these deathless words in my memory. "it's not over yet."
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>> i answered the phone in the suite that night when reagan called. george took the phone and started talking and after awhile he said, "yes, sir, i could. yes, sir, i will. yes, sir, i could." then he went like this to us. >> i have asked and i am recommending to this convention that tomorrow, when the session reconvenes, that george bush -- [ applause ] >> he and president reagan became very, very good friends. and president reagan depended upon him quite a bit. >> he was very loyal as a vice president and that was a great signal to all of us who were on the president's staff. if the vice president who ran against ronald reagan for the presidency could demonstrate the kind of loyalty that he showed, we should be doing the same as well. ♪ ♪
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i was with president bush when he was the vice president. i was in charge of his protective detail. we were in boise, idaho, a restaurant in the downtown area. the whole front of the restaurant is glass. and over the radio, we saw a person in the parking lot with a sawed off shotgun. very quickly, the agents took the vice president and put him under the table, tablecloth coming down on the side and there's two of them under the table with him. one on each side and in between the two of him covering his entire body. and the one was covering his head very closely and his face was right in the agent's armpit. and the agent was telling him play by play what was happening. and, okay, mr. vice president, it's been resolved. they've got the guy in custody. the next day on the airplane, as they're traveling, here comes the vice president back through the plane with a big can of deodorant spray. and he said, yours wasn't bad, but i think this one's better.
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please use this from now on. >> that's pretty typical of george h. w. bush. he loves a good joke. when he needled, he never needled for harm or hurt. he needled to enliven and to enhance the spirit. >> the university of michigan won the national championship. we thought we would try to do something different. so i had a basketball court set up in the rose garden. the president came out to check it out. and the president, he played basketball terribly. he was a terrible basketball player. so i thought to myself, well, we're not giving him the ball. the event transpires and the president says to rumil robinson, who had made the final-second free throw that won the game for michigan. he said okay, now you're at the white house, this is real pressure. i'm going to ask you to make a free throw in our court. >> right here, we got a little demonstration. >> there's all this buzz about
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oh, this is kind of fun. and rumil very dramatically takes off his coat. walks to the free-throw line, he dribbles a few times, he stops. dribbles a few times more, he stops. and then, cool as a cucumber, he throws the ball up. then what was not in the script was rumiel robinson takes the ball and turns to president bush and says, "your turn." i'm sure my face went white, because now the president is going to try to make a free throw. it was one of the most ungainly free throw attempts i have ever seen. >> it was a snapshot into this, like, boyish enthusiasm for competition and games and this playfulness you almost don't know how to react to it at times. and it's hilarious. >> the person who fell asleep
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most often in important meetings got the scowcroft award. >> named after brent scowcroft, he was almost a narcoleptic. you would be sitting there in a meeting with him and he would just go -- >> and what people didn't understand was this was serious business for the president. and there were criteria on which people were judged to be candidates for the scowcroft award. so first the president would evaluate people on duration. how long did they sleep? the second was the depth of their sleep. and snoring and whistling always got you extra points. and then the third criteria, and perhaps the most important, was the quality of recovery.
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did you just kind of come back up out of your snooze and open an eye and completely back in the meeting or were you one of these folks that awoke with a jerk and spilled the coffee? >> well, we loved the scowcroft award because it was classic george bush humor. and it was done in the same way as the ranking system that he made up for who got to play tennis with him. >> golly. perfect lob. >> he'll sometimes talk about imaginary things. he'll talk about a ranking committee. this is a big bush family tradition that was actually started by his mother. she loved to talk to the kids about, well, we'll take that before the ranking committee. and it's lived on through the president and on to the next generations as well. >> the bush family are very, very competitive athletically and they have ranking committee
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for every sport. golf, tennis. you name it. and you're not allowed to challenge someone unless you're next to them on the ranking chart. >> and the ranking system was mythological in the sense that only the president knew what the rules were because he made them up. and mainly he made them up so he didn't have to play with losers like me who wanted to play but weren't any good. >> the ranking committee is a misnomer because the committee implies there's more than one person on it. >> no one ever knew who the ranking committee was. so on mrs. bush's 75th birthday president bush said i'm going to reveal for the first time ever the members of the ranking committee. and, of course, he was the ranking committee. there was only one person on the ranking committee. but he'd arranged for this photo to be taken. it's five members of the ranking committee. and of course they're all him. president bush as a biker. that was his favorite.
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president bush, the golfer. then there's his secretary. then i think i'm -- i don't remember what i am. >> there is a side of president bush when it comes to competition that might surprise some people. there is a little bit of a pseudo trash talk side to george bush. >> now, you watch and learn, jamie. this is the prediction for the match. 7-6 in the second set. >> he never was insulting or belittling or bullying, all the characteristics i've seen in virtually all other presidents i've worked for. >> he didn't want people around that were sycophantic. he wanted people around that could give him good, sound advice. >> he sat there behind his desk, occasionally chewing his lip, and listening to the presentation. then he opened it up to questions. and this is the pattern i would see over and over again. he did not answer anything. he did not insert himself. he let us debate with each other so that all the issues got out on the table. he listened carefully. and then he might have asked a question or two but once he had
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satisfied himself that we had thought of all of the up sides and down sides he merely says, go, let's do it. in the summer of 1990s the iraqis invaded kuwait, and the president was faced with a choice of what to do. we briefed him on what our possible military options were right away. and he made it clear that we would use all the diplomatic effort that we could and all the options that we had politically to see if we could get saddam hussein to get out of kuwait but if he did not get out of kuwait we would do something about it. >> iraq will not be permitted to annex kuwait. and that's not a threat. it's p a boast. it's just the way it's going to be. >> the president met with the national security council at the white house, then got on an airplane and flew to aspen, colorado to meet with margaret thatcher who was giving a speech at the aspen institute., to mee thatcher who was giving a speech at the aspen institute. i remember sitting in that session with the two of them and
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mrs. thatcher said, "i believe saddam hussein is going on into saudi arabia, that he is not going to stop at kuwait. he wants those oil fields, and it's going to be one country after another." and president bush says, "i agree, and i think he must be stopped." and he said, "let's go around the world and see who's with us and who's against us." >> one of the extraordinary things about george bush is when he became president, he knew most of the other leaders in the world. >> it's only with friends that you can take off the gloves and talk from the heart. >> and he cultivated those friendships. they weren't just acquaintances for him. >> he was absolutely the pioneer of telephone diplomacy. his capacity more than anybody else i ever knew simply to pick up the phone and talk to people. there suddenly out of the blue was the leader of the free world. >> he called when there was no purpose to the call.
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when he wasn't asking for anything. and well before the gulf war he built a web of relationships across the entire world with leaders that when it came time to put the coalition together you had people who were willing -- they were always going to do what was in their national interest, but they wanted to do this for george bush because george bush was their friend and they trusted him. >> he gathered together the most remarkable coalition of nations since the second world war. very, very doubtful that anybody else would have been in such a good position to do that. >> he came back from aspen, and i was at home watching on television as he landed on the south lawn of the white house and the reporters started shouting at him. and his simple answer was -- >> this will not stand. this will not stand, this aggression against kuwait. >> and that was my order, whether i knew it or not. he made it clear. >> this will not stand. i remember when he said it it took my breath away. i thought to myself, how does he propose to effectuate that?, it
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took my breath away. i thought to myself, how does he propose to effectuate that? >> when he was debating whether or not to go to war, i went in to see him. i said, i know you know that this matter has all of the elements that have brought down previous presidents. $40 oil, body bags, and the great dissatisfaction at home. and his answer to me was yes, i know all that, jimmy, but we're going to do this because this is what's right. >> it was the decision being made at the period of time where the u.s. was still suffering from what a lot of people have called the post-vietnam syndrome. where there was a reluctance in the country to use military power anymore after vietnam. in a way, that made george bush's decision to do so tougher. >> there were protesters out on lafayette square with signs, don't go to war, you're a warmonger, and he went over and pulled the curtain aside. he said, "look at that." he said, "i hate war.
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i was in war. i was shot down and picked out of the sea by luck. i could have been dead. and it just pains me terribly to look out there as if i were the war president." but he said, "this will not stand on kuwait. this man will not take over a country while the world looks on. it will not stand." >> saddam is making the mistake of his life. if he confuse an abundance of restraint and patience with a lack of resolve.,. if he confuse an abundance of restraint and patience with a lack of resolv . if he confuse an abundance of restraint and patience with a lack of resolv if he confuse an abundance of restraint and patience with a lack of resolvif he confuse an abundance of restraint and patience with a lack of resolve.s an abundance of restraint and patience with a lack of resolvrestraint and patience with a lack of resolv lack of resolvlack of resolve. >> there's a little office just next to the oval office, and there was a tv set in there. the cnn characters were there in baghdad panning the city. the president and the vice president and scowcroft sitting there with me, watching this television screen, waiting for the war to begin.
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and you could see on the president's face when that happened, that he had what i think happens to every commander in chief, the realization that he had made a decision that was unfortunately going to cost lives but had to be done. >> i think george bush's attitude to war was intensely human and intensely personal. he knew that you couldn't talk of soldiers en masse, each one was an individual whose life was at risk, who had parents, perhaps a family, and certainly friends, and to george bush their lives were infinitely precious and ought not to be put at risk unnecessarily. >> he had the greatest respect for the troops. he really loved them. it meant so much to him that they were putting themselves in danger to achieve a noble purpose.
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and that relationship he had with us was so meaningful to him. but not just to him. to each and every one of us in the armed forces, to know we had a commander in chief who believed in us, took care of us, and respected us. >> at the end of the gulf war it would have been easy for us tto say okay, we've done that, now the road to baghdad is open, let's take over, throw out saddam, and create a new iraq. but we wanted to behave in a way which would set the rules for world behavior in a post-cold war world. and that is we had u.n. authorization to liberate kuwait. we did not have u.n. authorization to go to baghdad. and it was the president putting into play once more the long-range thoughtfulness that builds on current circumstances to make the future better.
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>> the american people went kind of crazy for their soldiers. i'll never forget when we had the parade in washington, but he wanted to make it clear. he said, "this is for those who did it, not for me." >> america endures because we dared risk our most precious asset, our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our husbands and wives, the finest troops any country has ever had. >> it wasn't the president who was out there taking the high fives. and the modesty that was engrained in him by his family, by his upbringing, that's who he always was. when i had my first migraine, i was lucky. that sounds crazy, i know. but my mom got migraines, so she knew this would help. excedrin migraine starts to relieve my pain in 30 minutes. plus, sensitivity to light and sound, even nausea. excedrin migraine works.
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serving on a ship that bears the name "uss george h. w. bush," it is the only aircraft carrier with a living namesake. and that's significant because the presence of that living namesake is felt throughout the ship. >> one of the wonderful days in the life of the ship was the christening, and i had the opportunity, as the sponsor, to stand with my dad and with my brother to christen the ship. and i had been told that you can't just lightly tap the champagne against the ship because it's hard to break and it's not good luck if the bottle doesn't shatter. so i literally mustered every ounce of strength i had to smash that bottle. >> may god bless all who sail her. >> i was not going to be standing between two presidents and not properly christen the
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ship. the commissioning took place january 2009. and it was one of the very last things that my brother george was able to do as president. >> laura and i are thrilled to be here to help commission an awesome ship and to honor an awesome man. >> one surprise that we had for president bush was there was a fly-by of an avenger, the airplane that he flew. it caught him by surprise and i think that just flooded the emotion gate for president bush. after that, he spent the night, and i get a phone call at i think it's like 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning saying, "hey, captain, the president is up
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wandering around the halls shaking the hands with sailors." he's supposed to be in bed. i'm trying to sleep. i just said, "fine, let him walk around. he's enjoying the heck out of it." the next morning i said, "mr. president, i heard you had a little sleepless night." "i just -- i knew i hadn't met every single sailor." and he was doing his darnedest to try to do that. >> dad loves the carrier, loves the sailors on board. it's a culmination of everything in dad's life that's important to him. >> we try to emulate our namesake and we serve with integrity. so everything we did on that ship was a reflection of president george h. w. bush. >> when he got into his 70s, he viewed his life as cavu, which stands for ceiling and visibility unlimited. >> it's what naval pilots would
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wish for, and that is blue skies, blue, clear skies. and that's what dad's had in his life. and when he talks about that, he's talking about the blessings in his life. >> he realized he had so much to be grateful for and, you know, part of that was being surrounded by family in main. he put this plaque on the back of the house. so i think when he thinks of cavu he thinks of sitting out there on the back porch at walker's point with, you know, my cousins surrounding him and that sense that this value system that he's been a huge part of will continue long past the time when he's gone. >> he's the kind of guy that likes an anchor to the windward, as he would say. and walker's point has provided an anchor for him throughout his life. >> i mean, just in this room alone i think of so many things. his grandfather used to sit at the card table over here and
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play solitaire. and i think of his mother. we had her birthday party here. and she was really older then. and one of them said to her, well, mom, what's been your best birthday? and she leaned over and held his hand and said, "this is my best birthday. i'm holding the hand of my son, the president of the united states." >> my mother told me not to brag about myself and to bend my knees when i volleyed. >> i must say that crises never seemed quite as bad when we were in kennebunkport as they did when you were in washington. now, that's pure psychology. but it's that psychology that i think give the president the kind of reaching to his roots and restoring his strength and self-confidence.
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>> president bush has a great love of the sea. he loves to fall asleep listening to the waves. walker's point has been the one constant in his life since the day he was born. >> i was with president bush when he returned to kennebunkport after the nor'easter storm in november 1991. and the whole first floor of the house was destroyed. >> water came in one side and out the other side and took everything with it. >> all of the personal mementos and photographs and autograph books were all strewn in the bushes. valuable personal treasures scattered over the lawn. there was a foot and a half of rock on the tennis court. >> and they were picking up pieces of photographs and keepsakes that they had. and he would say, "hey, bar, look at this."
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and she'd say, "george, come over here and take a look at this." and you could see that it was just a terrible shock for them. but at the same time, you saw strength in both of them. >> my first reaction was how sad it was for my parents. and, of course, both of them, being so optimistic, they were like don't worry about it. everything's going to be fine. >> he didn't even flinch. he looked at that devastation and the president of the united states put on a pair of rubber coat coveralls and immediately started shoveling sand out of his living room. >> he was pretty depressed. but he also said, we're going to put it back together. we're going to fix it. this is still going to be my favorite place and i'm going to come back here. that perfect storm defined what he felt had happened in his life that year. my name is karen and i have diabetic nerve pain.
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i would be strong. >> i would be strong. but there is much to suffer. >> he made some big decisions. and it was not easy. but it was not me, me, me. he did it because he was brave and he had the strength to do it. >> let me tell you, george bush
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took some real shots, many of them totally uncalled for, and all of that to those of us who knew him as the most decent man that i've ever known in or out of politics know that he was strong. he was herculean the way he handled things. >> strong. >> strong. >> strong. >> he left me this wonderful note in the desk in the oval office telling me not to get discouraged when times got tough, and telling me that in the end the only thing i would remember when it was over is whether i did what i thought was best for the country. >> the 1990 budget deal was probably one of the most difficult moments in the presidency of george bush. >> the deficit was so high that the president was reminded of it every day because it was given as a reason why we weren't getting a recovery in the recession. and the recession was causing greater and greater anguish. and the president, of course, wanted to get the recession resolved. >> it is my deeply held conviction that i must do all i can to get a $500 billion deficit reduction that can't be turned over next year or the
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year after. >> the conservative wing of the republican party was adamant that there would be no new taxes as the president had said at the convention. >> my opponent won't rule out raising taxes. but i will. and the congress will push me to raise taxes. and i'll say no. and they'll push and i'll say no. and they'll push again and i'll say to them read my lips. no new taxes. [ cheers and applause ] >> so when the budget negotiations began with the congress over this, they wanted taxes. he wanted spending restraint. and it became clear after a while that he wasn't going to get any spending restraint of any meaningful kind without agreeing to some tax increases. >> he said well, you know, if i do that, that really shows that i'm a liar. i'm not being true when i said read my lips. >> president bush said a sour economy forced him to break his "read my lips" pledge. >> when the budget deal was finally announced in late september and it included a tax
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increase, all hell broke loose. >> the president felt really bad about breaking a promise he made. >> he did it out of good motives. he was trying to get something done. he was trying, as he said, to govern. >> the president said for the good of the country we have to do this. that was a profile in courage. and he did pay a high price for it. >> nbc news has projected bill clinton the new president of the united states. >> i just called governor clinton over in little rock and offered my congratulations. i wish him well in the white house. >> when we returned to washington the day that my dad lost the election to president clinton, my dad and i were in a limousine, and i remember driving through the streets of washington with my dad. and he was uncharacteristically quiet. and at one point, he began to choke up a little bit.
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and i was wondering what's going on. and he just uttered something to the effect of i feel like i let them down. and he was talking about all the people who had worked so hard to get him re-elected and all the people on the staff who'd worked so hard for four years to make america a better place. and he just felt like he had let them down. and it was a tough moment for me to watch him suffer like that. >> he was disappointed, but he was not bitter. he was a man of dignity and a person that was confident and wanted to move on. >> after president bush lost the election, 15 days later, maybe less than that, his mother passed. and now the election was still devastating, but not near so much as losing his mother. almost like his guiding light. and it's a huge page in a man's book of life when their mother passes. and you could see that in him.
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and it almost took over from the loss of the election. >> it was a tough time because his mother was the greatest influence in his life. she instilled all of these qualities of family, faith and friends into dad. and he lived his life with that coming first always. >> i think his faith is very strong. very strong. but he's very quiet about it. you don't really talk about your faith. you act your faith. uh, hi. i'm here to drop off my resume. password? i'm sorry, i'm just here to what's the password. uh,synergy? datafication! gamification!
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call waiting and what i hear is this -- "this is the white house operator number one, hold for the president." so i have to go back to jon lovitz. i go, jon, i have to go. he goes, what? you have a bigger name? i go, "well, it's actually the president." i don't even know if he really believed me. president bush comes on the phone. he goes, "how you doing, dane? wondering if maybe you'd like to come out and visit a little bit. people are a little down here. just maybe cheer up the troops." a few weeks later, my wife and i are at the gate, we go in. it's gorgeous. dressed for christmas. all the red flowers and everything. meanwhile, my wife and i are kind of levitating. our heads are exploding that we're in the lincoln bedroom. and later on, a lot of people wanted to know whether my wife and i made love in the lincoln bedroom. and i thought that was such a silly question. you know, i didn't want to answer. but my son's middle name is abe. so anyway, so the next day, i had a meeting with the president. everyone was there. and i'm going to go into the east wing. they're gonna play "hail to the chief." his whole staff was going to be assembled. ♪ >> actually, i was staying in the lincoln bedroom last night
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and i couldn't resist getting on the phone. i called up the secret service on the phone and i got the president. "feel like going jogging tonight in the nude." my wife and i were looking out at the lawn around midnight, and these guys were -- fully unclothed. the way to do the president is to start out with mr. rogers. ♪ it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood ♪ then you add a little john wayne. here we go. let's go over the ridge. you put them together, you got george herbert walker bush. [ cheers and applause ] that's the thing there. >> to bring a comedian that sort of made fun of you all these years to your white house staff after you've lost an election, that's classy. >> good luck. >> one of our enduring traditions in america is that
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after a presidential election, when the incumbent president is leaving office and a new president is coming in, the president-elect pays a courtesy call on the president at the white house. >> he brought president clinton and mrs. clinton in to introduce them to the butlers. he was telling them these are the guys that are going to take care of you upstairs and everything. and, you know, they'll really be good to you. but it wasn't good for us, because the first thing president clinton and mrs. clinton saw was a bunch of guys in there with tears in their eyes, crying. and he told them, he said don't pay them no mind. they'll be the same way with you when you leave. >> i remember how gracious they were and brave and dignified. and, you know, i always really liked him. so i could just feel how hard it must have been. and i really admired the way they did it. >> one of the great experiences that was given to our country
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was when a friendship was formed that ran against the norm. and that was a friendship between president clinton and president bush. >> they're an odd couple, but it's very sweet, the relationship that they've developed. i think their work together on behalf of good causes is really one of the nicest chapters in the history of american presidents. >> i will be a friend to all. >> friendless. >> no one at 10 downing street can recall the last time a world leader shook hands with the doorman at the prime minister's home. >> george bush just has so much love for people. whether they agreed with his politics, his point of view, it didn't matter. he didn't have a mean-spirited bone in his body. >> friend to all. >> friend to all. >> friendless. >> just knowing what i know, the kind of guy he is, if he wasn't your friend, he would make you his friend. because that's just the way he makes people feel. comfortable.
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>> so it was a totally different time period, where people like me really thought our jobs were on the line if our bosses maybe knew that we were gay. at this point, i was president bush's chief of staff, having had worked for him for maybe ten years. a couple of months after i became chief of staff, i told jean becker that i was gay. and she had asked me then if i was going to tell the bushes. and i said, you know, that's not something i feel that i could ever talk to them about. it was just too personal and they meant too much to me and i just didn't think i could ever have the conversation with them. and then i expressed to her that i was worried that he would be embarrassed of me. that he -- you know, i didn't know if he'd want to fire me or if he just would be ashamed. several months later, he told me he wanted to talk to me about something. so he says, i asked jean if you were gay, at which point i was, like, shell-shocked. and i really couldn't look at him because i was totally caught
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off guard. it was not a conversation i ever thought i would have with george bush. and he began to tell me the fact that he loved me no matter what. he wanted me to be happy, first and foremost. he would never be embarrassed of me or ashamed and he didn't care if anybody knew that i, his chief of staff, was gay. and he said, you know bar loves you. and it really didn't matter to them, he just wanted me to be happy. and then he began to tear up and get emotional because he then said to me, i hope i've never done anything to make you feel like less of a person in all our time together. having him show that kind of love towards me really showed the kind of man that he is. it certainly made my life easier, because i thought if george bush knows and doesn't care, it doesn't matter to me if anybody else knows or cares.
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>> although i was a little girl when president bush was in office, as i'm now an adult and i'm studying and learning more and putting into context some of the memories i recall from his time in office, i see that one of the things you can really learn from his presidency is to be bold, is to really stand for something and go against the grain at times. and i would say for me that was one of the major things i learned at the bush school. millennials are a very distinct generation. we do have the strong desire to leave the world better than we found it, which i think directly relates to the president, and not only his leadership in office, but even his leadership after office. >> my father had a great vision. points of light represents, you know, the greatest part of the american tradition of giving to others. and i'm proud of that, and i
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think it's his greatest legacy. >> i will keep america moving forward, always forward, for a better america, for an endless enduring dream and a thousand points of light. >> and he thought everybody could be a point of light. you could do something in volunteerism or some other form of service to your nation that makes you a point of light, somebody who shines out. >> 23 years later, the thousand points of light foundation is the largest multifaceted volunteer organization on the whole planet. [ starter ] ready! [ starting gun goes off ] [ male announcer ] it's less of a race... yeah! [ male announcer ] and more of a journey. keep going strong. and as you look for a medicare supplement insurance plan... expect the same kind of commitment you demand of yourself. aarp medicare supplement insurance plans insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. go long.
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♪ james baker's one of my dad's greatest friends and a wonderful person. said that george bush has taught us all how to age gracefully. >> he has taught us how to live, how to lead, how to love. >> just great fun being with president bush.
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he is the ultimate camp counselor, just going 100 miles an hour. >> the president's idea of playing golf is the fastest one around the course is the one who wins. it's not the lowest score. >> and he would hit the ball and he would run and then he'd hit it again. and he would run. and by the time it got up on the green, he's [ breathing hard ] and he'd walk off of there and say to me or one of the others, "i don't understand why i can't putt." >> he said, "arn, if you have any tips to give me that will help me play a little better, just give them to me." and of course i used to say, "well, the first tip i'm going to give you is to slow down." >> my dad is somebody who lives life to the fullest. he's not a guy who's going to sit around and, you know, needlepoint. he asked for volunteers on his 85th birthday, for people who wanted to skydive. my wife did it. our daughter did it. our son did it. and i was too chicken to do it. >> i clearly remember flying over the crowd and watching the
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41st president waving at the crowd. >> there was all these boats on the water. and i think everyone on the boats had these little bells. and you could hear these bells ringing from 3,000 feet, which are all his friends. you know, and i'm like sir, you've got to get your legs up for the landing. but he was just so alive and just -- you can see that sense of freedom and enjoyment and feeling young. >> i sent to you sergeant first class michael elliott and the 41st president of the united states, george herbert walker bush. [ cheers and applause ] >> we landed right there at the boat landing area at st. anne's church. he says, "hey, you made an old man feel young again." >> oh, yeah. >> happy birthday, sir. >> we were at church at the little episcopal church in kennebunkport, very near walker's point. and the minister asked one of those rhetorical questions in
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his sermon. he said who here has a perfect family? and president bush actually raised his hand. he was the only person in the congregation that raised his hand and everybody sort of chuckled. >> people normally ask, did you constantly seek your father's advice? and my answer is no, i constantly sought my father's love. >> what's always struck me whenever i see him is the joy he takes in his family and how deeply his family loves him. and to have accomplished as much as he has while still investing the kind of attention and care in his family that shows in how they view him, you know, that's a sign of a life well lived. >> of course, i want to thank my entire family, with a special emphasis on a woman named barbara. >> every parent lives in mortal fear that when their kids grow up they won't want to hang around them anymore. and it's sort of like the
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ultimate validation in life when your adult children still want to hang around with you. and his adult children like hanging around with him. >> what happens in kennebunkport stays in kennebunkport. >> i'm going to get some my cousins in trouble. there are probably some older cousins who went to some pornography sites at walker's point. and they had done it on my grandmother's computer. >> so mrs. bush discovers some pictures of scantily clad women on her printer one day. and she was extremely upset about it. and you know, she couldn't quit talking about it. and all hell broke out, needless to say. >> so gampy, to find the culprit you know, drafted this scheme where he pretended to be the district attorney in portland, maine. and he wrote a letter to my grandmother saying, "dear mrs. bush, this is very uncomfortable but --"
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>> "it has come to our attention that you have been using your computer to go on porn websites." >> you know, we're going to have to come down to the portland office and answer to them. >> but it was very official, and we did dummy stationary. and someone drove to portland and mrs. bush fell for it hook, line, and sinker. it's a family tradition. the bushes are in bed, reading the paper, drinking coffee, and the whole family goes in there. and mrs. bush a lot of times would go through her mail in the morning. and sure enough, with a bunch of family in the bedroom, she opens that letter and she is beside herself. >> and he kind of pulled all of his grandkids, i think i was probably the younger age that got pulled into this meeting. and he read the letter aloud. he was like, we know this isn't gammy. i don't think he cared to find
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out who did it. but it was more the spirit of hey, we're on top of it. and joking was the way to handle that situation. >> it's hard to describe some humor, but we had such a good time. that devil. the rules that said a luxury car should be powered by gasoline only. we introduced the world's first luxury hybrid. and now, 85% of all luxury hybrids on the road... ...are lexus hybrids. the result: the gold standard of luxury hybrids. and the only place you'll find it is at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. now through september 2nd. this is the pursuit of perfection. say "hi" rudy. [ barks ] [ chuckles ] i'd do anything to keep this guy happy and healthy. that's why i'm so excited about these new milk-bone brushing chews. whoa, i'm not the only one. it's a brilliant new way to take care of his teeth. clinically proven as effective as brushing. ok, here you go. have you ever seen a dog brush his own teeth? the twist and nub design cleans all the way down to the gum line,
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even reaching the back teeth. they taste like a treat, but they clean like a toothbrush. nothing says you care like a milk-bone brushing chew. [ barks ] nothing says you care like a milk-bone brushing chew. geicmoney for over 75 they've really stood the test of time. much like these majestic rocky mountains. which must be named after the... that would be rocky the flying squirrel, mr. gecko sir. obviously! ahh come on bullwinkle, they're named after... ...first president george rockington! that doesn't even make any geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. .
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i swear, they looked at each other like they did when they were 18 and 19 years old. it's remarkable. i think it's because they can laugh at themselves, they laugh together.
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>> i would look up and laugh. >> and love. >> and then lift. >> there's a lot of gampy-isms in the things he does. he's got such a great spirit. >> you can't help but see what a romance and how much love he has for her. there's this fabulous camaraderie. and the fun. they had the best time teasing each other. but they're the most supportive. dare anybody say one negative word against either, and they will just kill you. you'd just better watch out. >> i think their long marriage is an expression of the kind of people they are. and they've been through rough times. the loss of a child.
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what could be a heavier blow to any mother and father? >> i don't know how my parents got through it. robin was my older sister, who died of leukemia at the age of 4. you never get over something like that. but they did a fantastic job of getting through it. mom would be having a difficult time and dad would be her strength. and then when dad was feeling weak and having a difficult time, mom was strong. so they are very compatible that way. >> they're great together. and even in their later years they still find things to be grateful for with each new day.
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>> to me they're one of the great teams ever. you know, if you're a baseball team, you would want your double play combination to do that as well as they do. if you're a basketball team, you want a guard and a guy filling the lane to feel one another. they do that. and when they do it, it's absolutely beautiful. >> they've now officially been married longer than any other president and first lady. i remember a couple of years ago, they're going to kill me for telling you this, but they both had complained to me separately about how much the other one snored. so after, i don't know, a few months of hearing all the snoring stories i suggested to president bush one day, i said maybe it's time that you all sleep in separate beds. and he was just appalled by this idea. he said, i have to be able to reach out in the middle of the night and grab her hand and know that she's there. >> well, a little personal, but
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we say we love each other every night too. and then we fight over who loves the other one more. and that's always a nice argument. i win that one. >> we are so honored we have been friends with george and barbara bush since 1982 and we're proud to sing "amazing grace" for our president. ♪ amazing grace ♪ how sweet the sound ♪ that saved a wretch like me ♪ i once was lost ♪ but now i'm found
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♪ was blind but now i see -- captions by vitac --
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back in 1981, i had the american dream, the beautiful wife, the house in the suburbs, and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son good-bye, and never saw him again. in two weeks, i became the parent of a murdered child and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache. i still have the rage. i waited years for justice. i know what it's like to be there waiting for some answers, and over those years, i learned how to do one thing really well.


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