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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  April 21, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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christ. not something she wore on her shoulder, just something very personal and very real. she simply confirmed what we believe, what we read in the lesson from 2nd corinthians, that we live not by what we see, but by our faith and those things that we don't see. so as paul wrote, even on days like today, we don't lose heart. yes, barbara's health declined, but as we just heard, the outward nature is wasting away. our innernature is being renewed every day for what is mortal, paul writes. by the grace and mercy of god is swallowed up by life. we find barbara's jesus in the gospel lesson. a jesus who says, all, all who come to me will be welcomed. her jesus offers the hope that life here, when it comes to its natural close is changed, not ended.
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some books have no true ending. some offer an epilogue. a hint, to imagine what rests beyond the closing chapter. can we imagine this day? a reunion with her parents. with your parents, sir. and with your dear robin, together again. my guess is she's already hunted down jane austen and has said, well, how did things turn out you with mr. darcy and elizabeth bennett? and knowing barbara as we all do, she may have been telling jane how things should have turned out. in the meantime, until each of our time comes, she would want us to carry on. to live as she lived fully and
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deeply, to laugh and laugh often. to love all that god sends our way. and to serve one another, the common good and especially the purposes of god. so leave here today, not to grieve, but to rejuroroicerejoi leave we will sing joyful, joyful, we adore thee. barbara would want us to celebrate her great new chapter. she has been raised to new life, for in this story, you never turn the page and seat two words, the end. barbara bush's story has just begun again. and the best is yet to come as she lives in that holy city of god. amen. >> amen.
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ jerusalem jerusalem lift up your gates and sing ♪ hosanna in the highest hosanna to your king ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ jerusalem jerusalem ♪ hosanna in the highest hosa a hosanna ♪
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♪ ♪ and once again the scene was changed new earth there seemed to be ♪ i saw the holy city beside the tideless sea ♪ ♪ the light of god was on its streets the gates were open wide ♪ and all who would might enter and no one was deny ♪ ♪ no need of moon or stars by night or sun to shine by day
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♪ it was the new jerusalem that would not pass away ♪ it was the new jerusalem that would not pass away ♪ ♪ jerusalem jerusalem sing for the night is o'er ♪ ♪ hosanna in the highest hosanna for evermore ♪ ♪ hosanna in the highest hosanna
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for evermore ♪ >> please stand. it is the tradition in the episcopal church that we stand, affirm the things that we believe. so in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of life eternal we invite to you turn to the top of page 6 and together let us reaffirm the faith that we share with our dear barbara bush by saying the creed. i believe in god the father the
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almighty maker of heaven and earth and in jesus christ his only son our lord who was conseened by the holy ghost. born of the virgin mary. suffered under pontius pilete and he ascended from the dead and sited at the right-hand of god the father almighty. i believe in the holy ghost. the holy catholic church. the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body. and the life everlasting. amen. let us pray together in the words that jesus taught us say, our father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name. thy kingdom come.
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thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses. as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not from temptation but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, amen. >> the lord, almighty god who has knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of thy son christ the lord. grant us and in paradise thy light and thy peace. grant all who have been baptized into christ's death and resurrection may die to sin and rise to newness of life. and through the grade or date of
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death we may pass with him through joyful resurrection. >> amen. >> grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage who walk as yet by faith that thy holy spirit may lead us in righteousness. >> amen. >> grant for our pardonable peace that we may serve thee with a quiet mind. >> amen. >> grant to all who mourn a sure confidence in fatherly care that cast a grief on thee that they may know the dconsolation of ths love. >> amen. >> give courage and strength to those who grieve that they have strength in the days ahead in the comfort and joyful expectation of eternal live with those they love. >> amen. >> help us to pray in the midst
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of things we cannot understand, to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection to life everlasting. >> amen. >> grant that increasing in knowledge and love of thee, barbara may go from strength to strength and life of heaven service in your heavenly kingdom. >> amen. >> grant us and all who have died in the hope of recollection recollection to have our consolation and bliss in this everlasting glory. and with allthy saints receive the crown of life promised to all who share in the victory of thy son jesus christ who liveth and reignth with you in the holy spirit. one god forever and ever. >> amen. >> please be seated. >> and when she shall die, take
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her and cut her out in little stars. and she will make the face of heaven so fine, that all the world will be in love with the night. and pay no worship to the garish sun. >> our service continues with
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acommendation in the middle of page 8. give rest, oh, christ, to your servant with your saints. where sorrow and pain are no more than the sign of life everlasting. you only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind. and we are mortal. formed of the earth of earth shall we return. as so you did ordain when you created saying you are dust and to dust you shall return. all of us go down to the dust. yet, even at the grave, we make our song alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. gift rest oh christ to your servants and saints. your sorrow and pain and life
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everlasting. in your hands oh merciful savior. a lamb of your own flock. a sinner of your own redeeming. receive barbara into your mercy and everlasting peace and glorious company of the saints in life. amen. we are about to receive a blessing from the bishop from the great episcopal diocese from the state of texas. before that blessing. then i'll offer dismissal, and then by direction of barbara bush, we will leave as we sing "joyful, joyful, we adore thee." as the clergy depart, at the singing of that hymn, at the conclusion of that hymn, i would ask that everybody else please
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be seated. and please do not leave until directed to do so. bishop. >> unto god's gracious mercy and protection we commit you. the lord bless you and keep you. the lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. the lord live up the light of his countenance upon you and give you peace. and may the blessing of got almighty, the father, the son and the holy ghost be amongst you and remain with you always. >> amen. >> let us go forth in the name of christ. >> thanks be to god. ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ all thy works with joy surround thee earth and heaven refle refle refle reflect thy rays ♪
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♪ stars and angels sing around thee center of unbroken praise ♪ field and forest vale and mountain, flowery meadow flashing sea ♪ singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in thee ♪ ♪ ♪ wellspring of the joy of living ocean depth of happy rest ♪ ♪ thou our father christ our brother, all who live in love are thine ♪
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♪ teach us how to love each other lift us to the joy divine ♪ ♪ >> as we look at this enormous
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sanctuary st. martin's church in houston, we just saw the exit of presidents 41 and 43, four former presidents in attendance today for this lovely and emotional sendoff for barbara bush. and as you heard, they will now exit, according to aisle and on cue. watching along with us all morning long, chris matthews in washington. chris. >> well, i thought it would be beautiful, and it certainly was. it was high church. wonderful liturgy. apparently all worked out from the guidance of barbara bush herself. the weeks before. reverend cheney said it was about three weeks ago they worked on this, perhaps other days as well. i thought the notes struck by jon meachem who wrote the book on george bush senior and susan baker, the life of james baker. very close friend to the
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president. and her very close friendship with barbara was honored there. i thought it was great to here doro bush from that rendition from romeo and juliet, i know a lot of people thought that's exactly what bobby kennedy said, and perhaps a reference to lyndon johnson, some will take this to a reference to the current president in terms of garishness. i thought that was an interesting note to strike, the subtlety of it. the whole service was joyous. the last hymn was joyous. and it had this -- it had a wonderful sublimity, if you will. there was a happiness to it. it was not funeral at all. that's what the reverend said. reverend cheney said she was in a bit of a rush to move on to
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the next chapter. and then to discover she was true christian, she took it seriously. it was real. and believing. and i thought that was a powerful message, too, she was quite happy with her destiny. powerful stuff. what a tribute to a family. not one mention of the fact that george senior lost an election. there was no electoral politics. >> chris, great point. those attune to the intersection between politics and literature, as unmistakable as it was in 1964, for some listen, who thought, well, certainly, he just referred to lindin jayndon, i suppose you're right, i guess there will be some discussion for what led doro bush to choose
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that passage. also wonderful to see members of the johnson family. extended nixon family. there's chelsea clinton. really, our contemporary political history. >> the other thing that wasn't cited is the wonderful father/son relationship between bill clinton and george bush. i think barbara bush called her the black sheep, he was very much connected to both of them. i think he really never had the kind of father that the bush boys had and doro had. and it's gone on 17 years of
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good marriage. raising a family with real coherence. and love. i mean, this is an american success story. and bill never had a settled life like that. and i think -- you know, very troubled relationship with his stepfather. he had him taken down one time because he was beating up his mother. and then he goes and sees this family with seamless devotion and honesty. i think one thing with barbara bush, she was able to tell a joke. sometimes a bad joke, and shell was made to use a phrase that sounds like rich. it's that devotion to her. especially from susan baker today that this is who barbara was and proud of it. her friends of proud of who will she was. without having to colorize it or
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clean it up, photoshop it. nobody's been photoshopping anything today, brian. >> that's true, the priest has said he was her con fidant because she had no secrets. >> she paid every time with her candor, i can tell you. >> she was a shocking character at times, even in realtime, back in the day when her husband was president in a way that only looks quaint by today's standards. chris. >> too much today is tested ahead of time, as we know. >> yeah. joe watkins, former aide to president bush. has been watching and listening with us. joe, i think you'll concur it was proper, at times, humorous, at times, emotional sendoff. >> absolutely. very, very moving and fitting tribute to a great human being.
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yeah, she actually believed what she said was her faith, as she was a very believing faithful person. i suppose the best measure of a person's faith can be seen in how they treat people when nobody else is watching. and she treated everybody with such dignity and love and honor. and respect. and that was really kind of the hallmark of barbara bush. i was moved during the service. i'm the one, as you know, i'm also a minister. i'm a pastor. i'm usually the one, brian, sharing the homily at these celebration of life services. and i was greatly moved because i was struck by how honest and real the words of jon meachem and susan baker and especially jeb bush were. they just really hit home to me. she was very kind. my wife and i were beneficiaries of some of that kindness. i got a phone call in my little
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office as a staffer at the white house. we worked long hours for the president. i got a call inviting me and my wife to come watch a movie in the white house movie theater with mrs. bush and the president. on the event of their 45th wedding anniversary in 1990. i thought it was a joke at first. except that i knew the president's executive assistant was calling me. but they, indeed, had invited us and a bunch of others including -- i mean, everybody from colin powell and john sununu to some of the receptionists who answered the phones in the white house. just a small group of an interesting hodgepodge and powerful and not very powerful people. staffers and friends. and we were all invited just to share that very special evening with them. and have popcorn and lemonade and watch that movie together. and that's really who she was. that kind of a human being. she demonstrated how much she loved others.
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because she treated other people the way she wanted to be treated herself with love and respect and kindness. >> joe, thank you for that. and, chris, think about it just in the time this broadcast has been on the air. i've talked to you, i've talked to joe, i've talked to kelly o'donnell, and what we all have in common, i'm sitting here thinking of the letters i have from 41 that i cherish, what we all have in common, a recipient of personal gesture of kindness from the bushes. >> you know, he was a great letter writer. he would scribble -- even as president. one of the books, he listed all of the pages he was mentioned in. and said having escaped unscathed, i'll read the rest of your book. he just did this kind of stuff. he's president of the united states and he's upstairs
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knocking off these letters, knocking them out. everybody like you, brian, you save them. they're savers. it shows personal interest of people at all levels but i want to get back to barbara bush's incredible honesty. six of us were upstairs. i think i was the only male of women reporters. we had a chance to interview barbara. i said, mrs. bush, just about everybody thinks you're pro-choice. she gave me the most politically shrewd answer. she said, well, everybody's not always right. and i go, wait a minute, she's not saying she's pro-choice. and she could never be quoted as saying she's pro-choice and get her husband in trouble. i think she was a real politician in that way. honestly so. not everybody is always right,
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you know. >> you remind me, chris, that was the subject of so much speculation when she were in the white house. >> yeah. >> by the way, the pallbearers are all grandchildren. we see 41, 43, and the bush children behind that. and granddaughters. let us recede for this portion. ♪
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♪ members of the huge and sprawling multigenerational bush family coming out of the back of the sanctuary. there will be a motorcade. burial is private.
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the bush library. chris, it's a beautiful facility. when you and i get together, we often in situations like this urge people to visit the presidential libraries in this country. and theirs is spectacular. >> they are a great institution. i've been to almost all of them, brian. and they're all different in their character. they often do a very good of evoking the president that they honor. and the reagan library out in simi valley is very much movie cowboy, if will you, in the foothills of where they used to make cowboy movies. truman's in independence is very much old west america. very much harry truman. certainly the case with nixon's library down in the orange groves. a bit grim, but it's nixon. and the bushes, i was -- as you were, i think your anchoring in the opening of the george w. bush's opening at smu. >> yeah. >> these colleges, i think, are
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very good to do this. as the aggie college of texas a&m, too. to bring the presidential library to their campus. to have something like that, university of texas has johnson's library in austin. these are great things to bring people to a campus to study our history. >> and chicago will boast the home of the obama library in due time. chris, kelly o'connedonnell is available to talk to us outside of the church. kelly, i imagine, you're there, you're seeing this assemblage of this recent political history and of course, members of this, as we said, sprawling political family. >> reporter: i'm just a few feet from the vehicle that is taking president george h.w. bush in this motorcade. so, just a few feet behind the
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hearse. we were asked not to make any comments from this location until the caskets was placed. and the flowers. we were able to make contact with members of the bush family. those who have covered them, there were nods and smiles and winks, as they took in the scenes from their point of view of all of the coverage here. the officers who are standing along the road in honor. and in so many ways, what i was reminded of, again and again, talking of family, extended and people in the orbit of the bushes was mrs. bush had said don't go over board with this service. she wanted this not to be too much. well, this was in many ways, very large in emotion. in its tribute, and yet elegant and understated.
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and capturing the barbara bush. especially the barbara bush of these last decades who has led a quiet but involved life. >> kelly, i know you're familiar with 41, in recent years, especially since getting around by wheelchair has become a major figure in the designer sock community, with great pride if you ask him. and today, they have made it known he is wearing socks of a book theme in honor of his wife and her life long push for literacy. >> reporter: that was a nod to mrs. bush in a most personal way. and over the decades, that a difficult gift of reading and what that could unlock for people is something she committed to all through her life. so, if you could make a statement in sockwear, then, of course, president bush would do so. often, those socks were meant to
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evoke humor. boy, we saw a lot of that today in the stories that were recounted. in the spirit that was recounted. when people are on the edge of grief and tears, humor can really cut through that and remind everyone that this is a celebration of her life. so, from a tribute in socks, to all of the trappings of a dignified funeral, we saw that today. just as a note, this is a privately funded funeral, taxpayers' dollars would pay for a president's funeral did not do so for a former first lady is paid for by the family and library. and there's considerable costs with staging an even. of this scale. and television coverage. this is a family event today. >> kelly, that's what struck me about the liturgy and the comments made by jeb and jon
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meachem, it seems to me, we're watching outside, the police guard and the trappings, the same service that had been held, and the same had he not been president, had he not been this world figure. i get the sense that family structure and culture dominated? >> reporter: i think of those who were invited, chris and brian, so many were family. some dignitaries, yes. but mostly people who were in their lives across the different ways we described them. political figures, yes. but members of a church and 18 estate community. we see that the lights and the motorcade might be ready to depart so i will hand it back to you. >> we also wanted to tell our viewers if you were looking for but did not see the carters. there's a reason for that, former president carter was already on a trip he had committed to when word came of mrs. bush's death.
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and mrs. carter is recovering we're told from surgery. as you see the line departing. let's listen in. >> interesting looking at the vehicles passing by. it's a kind of mixed jurisdiction of police officers on either side. mostly hpd. houston police department. and also county and texas state
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troopers known locally as texas rangers. a giant bus there more than one for members of the family. saw some main license plates there. of course, our former presidents are always extended secret service protection for life, along with their spouses. kelly o'donnell mentioned this earlier. one of the lovely things about watching the column of mourners pay their respects to mrs. bush, the secret service uniform division members who have protected the bushes for so many years insisting on standing post on either side for hours on end, as we watch houston police now take up the end of the motorcade as it will go out to the private burial. the bishop, priests and attendees seeing them off from the back of this, again, massive sanctuary.
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seating for close to 2,000 people. inside, largest episcopal church in north america. chris matthews, if i may revisit something you touched on, and we were talking about earlier, and that is, the role of humor in this family and self-deprecation, and all of it underscored today. all of it enforced, in part, by barbara bush. >> you know, it's interesting. i mentioned earlier, the cracked old alarm clock they kept all those years as president even in the upstairs of the white house. and there's something about maybe it's old money. i don't want to characterize it too stereotypically. the old idea of keeping things and not being showy or garish. the fact that barbara bush took pride in her fake pearls. of all things, they're big fake pearls. and she talked about how it was used to cover her neck or
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whatever. i kept thinking this morning as i got up to think of that grace kelly line from "to catch a thief." the old hitchcock movie where cary grant says to her, those pearls are fake, aren't they? and she says, yes, but i'm not. that's barbara bush, i'm not, i'm real. >> michael you and i last spoke last night that these departures that we cover in life are markers of where we've been. they're signposts. and this was striking today, especially looking at the mourners. the aristocracy of american politics of the last several decades kind of underscoring the change in tenor, mood and leadership in this branch of american political life. >> that's for sure. you know, george bush and
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barbara bush coming outside of northeastern republican politics, planned parenthood, moderate social views, all the way up to donald trump's republican party in 2016. and also coming out of, brian, you know, just as we were talking about last night, a tradition that was a lot more civilized in politics. and it made me think -- can i tell a story just for a moment. >> please do. please do. >> i'll make it quick. i got to know barbara bush particularly over the last 20 years, i was talking about moments in american history that she had lived through. i said what was your memory of the john kennedy assassination. she said, you know, i really very far talked about this but the evening, before the evening of the assassination of john kennedy, this would have been the 21st. i was in houston, and i went out to see his motorcade. the car that brought him and jackie from the airport in
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houston to the wise hotel where he was going to speak. i said that's make because you're a republican, your husband george was going to run for the senate in 1964. why did you do that? she said, that would never have occurred to me. republican or not. senate race or not. i was an american. the president was coming to town and i took one of my children out to see it. it's the kind of thing now days would be sadly almost unheard of. >> michael i'll ask you to tell a story about 41. years before he could dream of being president of the united states, the day lyndon johnson departed washington on what was air force one. tell me about the young face in the crowd at the edge on andrews air force base. >> absolutely. lyndon johnson was leaving the presidency 20th of january, 1969. he went as presidents do to andrews air force base to take off. and there was a big crowd.
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and these were mainly johnson friends and fans and old johnson aides. and johnson sees in the crowd one republican that he notices. and the republican is george h.w. bush. and there was a personal relationship that went back to the fact that lindin johnson and prescott bush, george h.w.'s father, part that from connecticut, had served together in the senate. so there's this wonderful picture, i wish we had it today with lbj reaching across the crowd to shake hands with george h.w. bush. right now, you think that bush was planning to run for the senate from texas one year later. you know, nowadays, it might be taking a risk to go and shake hands and say good-bye to a democratic president, of the other party, who was unpopular. george h.w. bush it never would
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have occurred to him. he thought that politics should be civilized that's what he did. >> michael bishoff as we watch the motorcade go through houston. and we're listening to some of the local coverage in houston knowning on. here's the hearse. michael, the bushes have been part of houston life for so long. with moves east and then back west, but really since george h.w. went west young man, they have -- it's been a big home base for them. >> right. and they've really stuck to houston and been a very big part of houston over the last number of decades. for them, although they had come from the northeast and spent a
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lot of time in new york city and to some extent, washington, it was like moving to the big city. because they moved to houston in the early 1960s from midland, texas, which was a very different scene. >> yeah, sure was. andrea mitchell has joined our coverage. andrea, i'd love to hear from you about your view of the service we just witnessed. >> so extraordinary, brian. it's so good to be with you and michael. to think about four former presidents, two of them, of course, family. but the other two coming because of respect and affection. particularly the relationship between the clintons and the bushes. in reading both bushes' diaries about how bitter they were and devastated, losing the presidency in one term, and losing in bush's diary, draft
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dodger, that was the way he thought of bill clinton. and then the way they connected after the bushes left the white house. working together later in years on tsunami relief and hurricane relief. and doing work in haiti after the earthquake. the relationship is remarkable coming from different parts of the country and very different backgrounds. bill clinton and george herbert walker bush could not have come from more different backgrounds. and they really did connect. barbara bush used to refer to him as that black sheep who became another son from another mother. and they really have been very close. you can see the obamas here as well. melania trump of course representing this white house. it is, as you are noting, not traditional for former
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presidents to come and observe the funeral services for first ladies, but in this case, certainly, it was done. and sitting presidents, rather, do not traditionally. and donald trump, i think everyone here felt it was wise to say that the white house did not want to disturb everyone with magnetometers and other security requirements, but also the chapters of the 2016 campaign when trump went after jeb bush and even barbara bush campaigning for her son. so, i think the fact that melania is representing the current sitting president is certainly better than the alternative. and to see the other families is a great reminder of the way politics used to be before it became as bitter and divisive as it's been in recent years. >> andrea, there is something else which i can discuss with you because we go back, i've heard pieces of it mentioned by
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michael and jon meachem who was so brilliant today. and that is this, at the time when the bushes came to prominence, during his presidency, familiar -- there's better way to put this -- with new england-based old money rich folks didn't know how to take them. didn't know how to take the whole crowd and were amazed at how unadorned this first lady was. she did not match, i guess, people's ideal. and people slowly got a lesson through realizing who she was. >> they got a lesson in authenticity. first of all, she's very, very smart. and she's comfortable with herself. as you know, she's gone through different stages in life, but she was always natural with her gray hair. she never worried about her appearance inform sort of is a glamorous way. but she just became a really
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reassuring presence. i think the fact that that family was so close and so deeply connected meant a great deal to americans of all classes and all backgrounds. i know it's been said that without barbara bush, there never would have been a president bush. because by going to odessa, texas, and midland and the wildcatting oil days of the bushes when they were young. in 1948, moving from greenwich, connecticut. she was raised in rye and raised in privilege. you could see these buses taking some of the congregants out of the church and away. the fact that she as a wife, a youngraised as a debutante was willing to go to texas and make all of those moves, those homes and keep that family together. and she wrote in 2015 in her
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memoir that her priority then was husband and children and family and she has no regrets. she said if she had any regrets it's that she didn't listen more to the family growing up. i'm really struck by the importance of faith, the importance of her religion, asking to become confirmed in may of 2015. it's very clear from those really remarkable recollections of the minister and her family that she was ready to go. >> you have me remembering -- while we keep talking about this family of public service, barbara bush married into this family of public service. and you note with the move to texas got swept up in it and ben game such a prominent part of it.
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>> if they didn't have that texas connection, certainly bush 41 never embraced it at that age. but certainly w did. that made them politically viable to better understand the culture. she had the empathy that in some ways her husband was a little bit more stiff. isle take a splash of coffee and the unfair and inaccurate photo opportunity at the computer scanner, which was totally not true, but during the '92 campaign when he seemed disconnected and then remember when he looked at his watch in the richmond debate and didn't connect to that woman in the audience in that town hall format debate when she asked, you know, about the economy. and bill clinton immediately got it and walked over to her and said tell me about your own story. and i was rereading bush's answer to her. and it was so halting and so awkward. >> he used the words means to
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stand for wealth or having money. and a lot of people didn't interpret that on the spot. >> so she was really the political brain. for three generations of bushes. as nicole wallace, former communication director and family and friend who is about to join us has recollected, the staff knew that she was really sensitive to the shifting cultural climate. now, of course, there was the second debate. i had experience in that. that was the second bush/dukakis debate. and that was in the earlier campaign when he was running in 1988. and boy, he was so much better than dukakis. it was dukakis who was the awkward one when asked whether -- if kitty dukakis had been raped and murdered like the victim of willy horton. it was a mean campaign and the bushes were not above campaigning hard and fast with lee atwater doing their ads, it
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was dukakis who was awkward then. but george bush was really the victor in terms of that political debate. >> and andrea, you mentioned our next guest before we turn the coverage over at the top of the hour. we're happy to be joined by our friend and colleague nicole wallace. who's been an aid of the political dynasty. here we are, nicole, at the republican political aristocracy in exile. and i know you've been surrounded by friends today. i need to hear you out about the service we just witnessed. >> for anyone with hdtv, i'm sorry i've been crying for an hour. she would have hated that, though. that would have bchb the last thing she wanted to hear. she started talking about her funeral and which hymns she
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wanted played in her funeral in the summer of 2016. i don't think she would be offended. i'm going to go ahead and say this. john meachem slayed down. so much about this family and what they've meant to generations of people who went to work in republican politics thinking they were republicans, but in reality they were bush family lovers and loyalists. and she was the bright light that we all crawled toward. and i can't imagine this family without her. he was the sparkle, the kids were all gracious. they were civilized. they are uh civilized. they're all -- you know, have this spirit. but she was the flame. she was the keeper of the family flame. it's hard to overstate the loss. you heard it in the cracking voices of every single one of
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the grandchildren. i felt in jenna bush that magic sauce that everyone talks about when they talk about barbara bush. the beauty, the brains, the sass, the humanity. and just sighing the whole family, jeb bush who had his mom by his side during his unsuccessful run during 2016, listening to everyone talk about robin, her daughter who they lost to leukemia at 3, not a lot of of opeople talked about robin over the course of the bush family lives. robin never came up during any of the campaigns of george h.w. bush, george w. husbush. but to hear everyone talk about and their reunion was new. andrea mitch chill confirmed that she really had got gone back to her faith and made it even more central to her life in the summer of 2015. but the universality of her constant daily effort to be honest and kind is the thing that every single person,
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whether you never voted for a bush, whether you spent your life devoted to the family, the universality of that sort of human endeavor to be honest and kind in every moment of your life was what rang through to me today. >> i am so glad we heard from you about what we witnessed. and also we got to see all the familiar faces, all your former co-workers, your friends of a lifetime. >> i don't know how many more times in our life we are going to see the obamas next to the clintons next to two generations of bushes. and there's just something about being an american and seeing all those presidents -- two former democratic presidents, two former republican presidents in one room to honor one human being that just transcends absolutely everything else we're living through, everything else we're living through feels survivable when you see those
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four families in one room together. they just weren't in one room, they were in one row. i know you watched it, fwu to see all of them together. and to understand that only the 41s, which is what we call george h.w. bush and barbara bush, they're the 41s as opposed to the 43, george w. bush and laura bush. only the 41s would have reached back to the man that defeated him, the clintons, and forward to the fan who came after their son and formed such meaningful bonds. these aren't foinny friendships. these aren't shallow bonds. these are deep bonds. it is president obama who awarded 41 the many eddal of freedom. and it's bill clinton -- we joked so much in the 43 white house, he was present, he was around. because he was 41's buddy. they joined together to raise money after the tragic tsunami. bill clinton became an important voice on policy matters when it cams to aids in africa. but that bond was forged through
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bush 41 and barbara bush. and those relationships are there for the whole country to feel reassured that democrats and republicans can work together. and that when things matter -- there was a lot of talk from john meachem and jeb bush about how much barbara bush valued civility, kindness, decency. i think those messages are messages everyone in this country needs to hear right now. >> there were also members of the nixon and johnson families there. and that -- then you start stretching pletty far back in american history. >> you know, and it is a moment in an american history. it is annenic flexion point. i would be lying if i didn't sort of disclose that it kneels like the beginning of the end of an era. not just in republican politics, but in american politics. and some of the of the heavy heartedness is just missing what barbara bush did to a room. she lit it up. she brought out


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