Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Untold Story of Geo.H.W.Bush and Ronald Reagan

While it is difficult not to guffaw at this story . . .and to dismiss it as gossip . . .what I am describing was a fundamental dynamic of 12 years of American history - the eight years of the Reagan Presidency and highly formative of the subsequent four years of H.W.'s Presidency. Surely, too, W's impressions of the presidency were affected by his father's experiences.

Geo. H.W.Bush was the son of a senator. He went to Phillips Exeter and Yale. He gave heroic service as a pilot in WWII. He campaigned for the GOP nomination in 1980 and lost to Ronald Reagan. Reagan invited him to be the vice-presidential nominee.

And, they never talked to one another again.

Geo. H.W.Bush was the first Vice President to occupy the new V.P. Residence on Naval Observatory Hill in Georgetown. For eight years, his one sworn duty was to call the White House to see if Ronnie were still breathing . . .and his duties were done.

I'm not a fan of H.W. He had a major role in The Bay of Pigs while he was at the CIA. I suspect that his talents were mostly mediocre and that he successes in life were rewards for reliability and family connections. However, as a pilot myself, I find his war record and his reluctance to exploit his war record for political gain to be impressive.

Regardless, my point here is:

H.W. wasn't ever invited to the White House for eight years, not even invited to the state dinner when Queen Elizabeth II visited the Reagan White House.

Imagine how you would feel, sitting up on that hill for eight years with nothing to do, as Vice President of the United States!

Also, imagine how it felt to be sitting at lunch with some Washington character and get the call that the President had just be shot . . .by the son of the man sitting across from you! Talk about wanting to bury an incident!

Reagan recovers and, still, eventually H.W. becomes President.

I think that a great deal of H.W.'s impetuousness during his single term as President stems from eight years of humiliation.

I also think that the press showed uncharacteristic gentility or altogether characteristic stupidity in failing to comment on Baby Bush's immediate appointment of Daddy's State Department press spokesperson, Margaret Tutwiler, to be ambassador to Morocco (and, later, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs). That's how that family deals with family secrets; all the more reason to respect and sympathize with Barbara Bush - to bear five children and support that man, to live with this sort of thing and have it abetted by her son.

No comments:

Post a Comment