By Mike Tolson
Vice President George H.W. Bush announces his candidacy for president at the Hyatt Regency in Houston, Texas, Oct. 12, 1987.
George Herbert Walker Bush, whose lone term as the 41st president of the United States ushered in the final days of the Cold War and perpetuated a family political dynasty that influenced American politics at both the national and state levels for decades, died Friday evening in Houston. He was 94.
Bush was the last president to have served in the military during World War II. His experience in international diplomacy served him well as he dealt with the unraveling of the Soviet Union as an oppressive superpower, and later the rise of China as a commercial behemoth and potential partner.
His wife of 73 years, Barbara Pierce Bush, died April 17, 2018, at the age of 92.
Steeped in the importance of public service, Bush always felt the lure of political life. It snared him in 1962 when he was chosen to head Houston’s fledgling Republican Party. He spent the next three decades in the political limelight, a career largely free of scandal or great controversy, with one exception — his role as vice president in the Iran-Contra scandal.
The second of five children, Bush was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts, to Prescott and Dorothy Bush. After graduating from Yale University in 1948, he struck out for Texas and found success, first as an oilman and later as a Congressman.
The misfortune of bad timing hurt him at times in his pursuit of higher office, yet a string of high-profile appointed positions reflected the faith others had in him.
Bush ran in November 1966 for Congress and won, becoming the first Republican from Houston and the star of the growing Texas GOP. After Bush’s second term and a failed Senate bid, President Richard Nixon appointed Bush to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and, later, chairman of the Republican National Committee.
His tenure coincided with investigations into the Watergate affair, which resulted in Nixon’s resignation. New President Gerald Ford appointed Bush “envoy” to China — the two nations did not yet have full diplomatic relations, so Bush could not be called an ambassador — then director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Bush returned to Houston in 1976, when Ford was defeated. He ran for president but ended up instead the two-term vice president to Ronald Reagan, proving a loyal second.
In 1988, Bush won the top office decisively. He came to be widely respected by foreign leaders and diplomats, but his political profile at home was different, dogged by assertions that he was a bland and hazy character, aloof and dilettantish.
Bush had not been in the White House long when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. His cautious posture as the Soviet Union was beginning to unravel was a highlight of his presidential term, which also saw negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (eventually to be ratified in November 1993), and the victorious Operation Desert Storm, a multinational response to the military invasion of Kuwait by neighboring Iraq.
At home, plagued by inherited budget deficits and a Congress under the control of Democrats, Bush was pushed into a tax increase that belied his explicit promise to allow none. His legislative achievements included the Americans with Disabilities Act, a bolstered Clean Air Act, and an increased minimum wage.
With the loss of a second presidential term came intense pain, physical and emotional, that he fully acknowledged. Some of it arose from the frustration he felt that the public did not understand him, and perhaps never had. His spirits were buoyed in 2000 when son was elected president.
Bush was occasionally seen at ball games around Houston, at numerous charity events, and at funerals of old friends. In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded Bush the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He made a final parachute jump after turning 90, but age and disease began to take a toll.
When he lost the ability to walk, there were few public appearances. He shook hands with those who attended his wife’s public visitation. At her funeral, he wore socks with images of books of them, a testament to his wife’s devotion to improving literacy. He held her hand all day before she died.
∫∫∫ As he is one of the biggest criminal pieces of shit in modern history, I don’t have the time (or space) to get into all the crimes of HW or the “Bush Crime Family”. To say he is one of the main progenitors of the modern day Swamp is an understatement. He will not be missed….