tv George W. Bush Portrait Unveiling CSPAN June 2, 2012 9:50pm-10:15pm EDT
john paul stevens. from the navy to the bench, john paul stevens has devoted himself to service to our nation. after earning a bronze star in world war ii, stevens returned home to pursue a career in law. as an attorney, he became a leading practitioner of anti- trust law. and as a supreme court justice, he dedicated his long and distinguished tenure to applying our constitution with fidelity and independence. his integrity, humility, and steadfast commitment to the rule of law have fortified the noble vision of our nation's founders.
[the medal is presented] pat summitt. pat summitt is an unparalleled figure in collegiate sports. over 38 seasons, she proudly led the university of tennessee lady volunteers to 32 sec tournament and regular season championships and eight national titles, becoming the all-time winningest coach in ncaa basketball history. on the court, coach summitt inspired young women across our country to shoot even higher in
pursuit of their dreams. off the court, she has inspired us all by turning her personal struggle into a public campaign to combat alzheimer's disease. pat summitt's strength and character exemplify all that is best about athletics in america. [the medal is presented] bob dylan. a modern-day troubadour, bob dylan established himself as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.
the rich poetry of his lyrics opened up new possibilities for popular song and inspired generations. his melodies have brought ancient traditions into the modern age. more than 50 years after his career began, bob dylan remains an eminent voice in our national conversation and around the world. [the medal is presented] >> can everybody please stand and give a rousing applause to our medal of freedom winners?
well, we could not be prouder of all of them. we could not be more grateful to all of them. you have had an impact on all of us, and i know that you will continue to have an impact on all of us. so thank you for being here. thank you for putting yourself through white house ceremonies which are always full of all kinds of protocol. fortunately, we also have a reception afterwards. i hear the food around here is pretty good.
>> now more from president obama, from last thursday. the official portrait unveiling ceremony was held for president george w. bush and former first lady laura bush. george bush said "we may have our differences politically, but the presidency transcends these differences." from the east room of the white house, this is 30 minutes. [applause]
>> good afternoon. i am chairman of the board of the white house historical association. the association is honored to be a part of today's historic ceremony and to have played a role in arranging for the magnificent portrait that is about to be unveiled. the association was founded 50 years ago with two specific missions, the first is to educate and inform the public about the history of the white house and the distinguished groups of americans who have the -- inhabited it. it is an exciting time for us. we marked our 50th anniversary. to the north of the white house we have just launched the new national center for let us -- white house history. the next year, to the south, we
will open a new white house this their center. it will give millions of visitors -- the visitor center. it will give millions of visitors a new understanding. of life in the white house. if we acquire something on the east and west we will havethe oe association is to preserve the white house public room and it's remarkable collection of fine arts. over the last 10 decades, the association as provide -- proud to provide financial support for river fishing -- for refurbishing. it is a wonderful tradition that our country honors those who have honored us. the tradition began with the acquisition of george washington's portrait in 1800. it was viewed as such an
important national treasure, it was the object of dolley madison's raise concerns when the white house burned. in our digital world, where so many images are mere flashes on the screen, these enduring portraits of korean-americans by acclaimed artists are lasting tribute to our presidents and first lady and will forever be part of the white house collection. today, the portraits of president george w. bush and first lady laura bush will be added to this unique collection of those who have occupied this house and served our nation with distinction. and to those great presidential portrait artist, whose works include the restored, john singer sargent, and eric schiffer, we now add john howard
sanders. strong arguments were made on both sides. it is the debate over issues between parties. it is the debate over whether the portrait actually looks like the president and first lady. [laughter] we will soon find that appeared it is my pleasure to introduce the president of the united states. >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you. [applause] good afternoon, everybody. thank you for that introduction. to president george h.w. bush and barbara and members of the bush family, it is a great privilege to have you here today and to president and mrs.
bush, welcome back to the house that you called home for eight years. the white house is many things at once. it is a working office. it is a living museum. it is an enduring symbol of our democracy. at the end of the day, when the visitors go home and the lights go down, a few of us are blessed with the tremendous honor to actually live here. i think it is fair to say that every president is acutely aware that we're just temporary press -- temporary residence. we're renters. we are charged with the upkeep. but we also leave a piece of ourselves in this place. today, with the unveiling of the portrait of the president, they will take their place alongside the men and women who built this country and those who worked to perfect it. it has been said that no one can
truly interested and would dislike being president will they sit behind that desk and feel the weight and responsibility for the first time. that is true. after three and a half years in office and much more gray hair, i have a deeper understanding of the challenge and -- challenges faced by presidents who came before me, including my immediate predecessor, president bush. in my dog, no decision that reaches your desk is zz. no tours to make is without cost. no matter how hard you try, you will not make everybody happy. i think that is something that both president bush and i learned very quickly. that is why, from time to time, those of us who have had the privilege to hold the office, have turned to the only people on earth who know the feeling. we all love this country. we all want america to succeed. will believe that, when it comes
to moving this country forward, we have an obligation to pull together and we have the humble example of our first president, george washington, who knew that a true test of patriotism was moving freely and graciously passing on the power to somebody else. that has certainly been true of president bush. the months before it took office, it was a chaotic time. we knew our country was in trouble. our fellow americans were in pain. but we would not known to liturgist how breathtakingly financial crisis had been. still, over those two and a half months, in the midst of that crisis, president bush, his cabinet, his staff, many of you who are here today, went out of your ways -- george, you went out of your way to make sure that the transition to a new administration was as
streamlined as possible. president bush understood that rescuing our economy was not a republican or democrat issue. it was an american priority and will always be for it -- be grateful for that. none of us will ever for get where we were on that terrible september day when our country was attacked. all of us will remember the image of president bush standing on that pile of rubble, bullhorn in hand, conveying extraordinary strength and resolve to the american people and the strength and resolve of the american people. last year, when we deliver justice to osama bin laden, and it clear that our success was due to many people and many organizations working together over many years across two administrations. that is why my first call to
president -- to president bush. protecting our country is knighted the work of one person with the task of one time, it is an ongoing obligation we all share. finally, on a personal note, michele and i are grateful to the entire bush family for their guidance and example during our tradition. george, i will always remember the gathering you posted for all of the living former presidents. plus, you left me a really good tv sports package. [laughter] i use it. laura, you reminded us that the most rewarding thing about living in this house is not the title or power but the chance to shine a spotlight on the issues that matter the most. the fact that you enjoyed raised two smart and beautiful
daughters, as teenagers preparing to head out into the world, that gives us tremendous help. -- hope. we will never forget the advice you give our daughters as they began their lives in washington. they tell them to surround themselves with loyal friends. never stop doing what they love. slide down the banisters. place settings on the lawn. -- to place sardines on a lawn. meet new people. enjoy all that. i can tell you that they took that advice to heart. it really meant a lot. one of the greatest strengths of our democracy is our ability to peacefully and routinely go through transitions of power. we have always had the leaders
who believe in america and everything it stands for. leaders and families who are willing to devote their lives to the country they love. this is what we will think about every time we pass these portraits, just as millions of others of visitors will do in the decades to come. i want to thank the artist behind these beautiful works. on behalf of the american people, i want to thank president and mrs. bush for their extraordinary service to our country. i would like to invite them on stage to take part in the presentation. [applause]
our rowdy friends to my hanging. [laughter] we are honored to be here. mr. vice president, thank you for coming. we are overwhelmed. thank you for feeding the bush family, all 14 members of us. i want to thank our girls for coming. i thank mom and dad, brother, sister, in laws, aunts and uncles. i know you were as excited to be able to come back and thank the people who helped make this house a home for us. the white house staff. i want to thank fred ryan and the white house curator. i am pleased that my portrait brings an interesting symmetry to the white house collection.
[applause] i am pleased that when you are wondering these halls he would now be able to the is that this portrait and ask "what would george do?" [laughter] i am honored to be hanging there with the man they gave me the greatest give possible, -- the greatest gift possible, unconditional love, no. 41. [applause] i want to thank john howard for agreeing to use his considerable talents to paint my likeness.
you have done a fine job with a challenging subjects. in the portrait there is a painting called "a charge to keep" that hung in the oval office for the eight years of my presidency. i asked john to include it b ecause it reminds me of the wonderful people with whom i was privileged to serve. these men and women, many of whom who are here worked hard and served with honor. we had a charge to keep. it is my privilege to introduce the great as first lady ever, sorry mom. [laughter] would you agree to a tie? a woman who brought such grace and dignity and love in this