We join the nation in mourning the loss of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, who passed away Friday at the age of 94.
President Bush’s record as a president may be remembered as something of a mixed bag, with Desert Storm, NAFTA, and the ushering in of the post-Cold War era being some of the more well-remembered moments of his four years in office.
However anyone may have felt about his presidency, no one -- not even his political rivals -- could have or would have ever questioned his integrity or his love of and loyalty to this country. A combat veteran and war hero of World War II, he would ultimately build a very distinguished career in public service, a career path he would revere and accordingly comport himself to the highest standards.
Much has been made of his classy deportment, his polite and respectful interactions with everyone, including his political rivals, culminating with his “unusual” friendship with the man who would win the presidency from him, Bill Clinton. Such things obviously puzzled Bush; separating political belief from friendship was not only easy but largely a given with him -- and he pretty much said so throughout his later years.
He was, in fact, the quintessential gentleman and statesman, a man who set and lived an example we should all aspire to follow. We could sure use a lot more of that these days -- at every level of public life.