Portraits: George H. W. Bush   Leave a comment

Bush sat for this portrait at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine. The picture's backdrop, however, is the East Room of the White House. Among artist Ron Sherr's aims was to balance the formality of the composition with a warmth capable of drawing the viewer into the picture.

Bush sat for this portrait at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine. The picture’s backdrop, however, is the East Room of the White House. Among artist Ron Sherr’s aims was to balance the formality of the composition with a warmth capable of drawing the viewer into the picture. National Portrait Gallery.

George Herbert Walker Bush (1924 – )

The 41st President of the United States, 1989 – 1993

AKA: 41, Poppy, Papa Bush

From: Massachusetts, Texas

College: Yale University

Married to: Barbara Pierce

Children: George Walker, Pauline Robinson, John Ellis “Jeb,” Neil Mallon, Marvin Pierce, Dorothy

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: US Navy Lieutenant, sales clerk, oil industry entrepreneur, company President, US Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, Envoy to China, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Bank Chairman, Vice President

In His Words:”I’m the one who will not raise taxes. My opponent now says he’ll raise them as a last resort, or a third resort. But when a politician talks like that, you know that’s one resort he’ll be checking into. My opponent, my opponent won’t rule out raising taxes. But I will. And The Congress will push me to raise taxes and I’ll say no. And they’ll push, and I’ll say no, and they’ll push again, and I’ll say, to them, ‘Read my lips: no new taxes.'”

“I have just repeated word for word the oath taken by George Washington 200 years ago, and the Bible on which I placed my hand is the Bible on which he placed his. It is right that the memory of Washington be with us today, not only because this is our Bicentennial Inauguration, but because Washington remains the Father of our Country. And he would, I think, be gladdened by this day; for today is the concrete expression of a stunning fact: our continuity these 200 years since our government began. We meet on democracy’s front porch, a good place to talk as neighbors and as friends. For this is a day when our nation is made whole, when our differences, for a moment, are suspended.”

Official White House Portrait Photo, 1989

Official White House Portrait Photo, 1989

“I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good. We will work hand in hand, encouraging, sometimes leading, sometimes being led, rewarding. We will work on this in the White House, in the Cabinet agencies. I will go to the people and the programs that are the brighter points of light, and I will ask every member of my government to become involved. The old ideas are new again because they are not old, they are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.”

“I do not like broccoli and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli. Now look, this is the last statement I’m going to have on broccoli. There are truckloads of broccoli at this very minute descending on Washington. My family is divided. For the broccoli vote out there: Barbara loves broccoli. She has tried to make me eat it. She eats it all the time herself. So she can go out and meet the caravan of broccoli that’s coming in.”

“Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education.”

“We’re going to keep trying to strengthen the American family. To make them more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons.”

“It is possible to tell things by a handshake. I like the “looking in the eye” syndrome. It conveys interest. I like the firm, though not bone crushing shake. The bone crusher is trying too hard to “macho it.: The clammy or diffident handshake — fairly or unfairly — get me off to a bad start with a person.”

Not true: A 1992 New York Times article famously portrayed Bush as being amazed by a common supermarket scanner, which helped to paint him as an elitist who was out of touch with everyday American life. In reality, the scanner that Bush was so impressed with was an advanced prototype that could weigh groceries and decipher mangled and torn bar codes. Further, it was later discovered that the writer of the infamous article wasn’t even present at the convention where Bush was shown the scanner in question.

True: While serving as the Chairman of the Republican Party, he asked Nixon to resign the Presidency for the good of the Party.

After Ford became President, Bush was considered – and rejected – as his Vice President.

After serving as the Director of Central Intelligence, Bush decided to leave the government during Carter’s administration. He served as a part-time professor at Rice University.

When Reagan needed surgery on his colon, Bush became the Acting President for 8 hours until Reagan recovered from anesthesia.

When Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, and then threatened to move into Saudi Arabia, Bush rallied the United Nations, the U. S. people, and Congress and sent 425,000 American troops. They were joined by 118,000 troops from allied nations. After weeks of air and missile bombardment, the 100-hour land battle dubbed Desert Storm routed Iraq’s million-man army.

George and Barbara had two sons that became governors: George, of Texas, and Jeb, of Florida.

When son George ran for president in 2000, his father told voters, “This boy — this son of ours — is not going to let you down.” George W. Bush’s election made his father the second president in history, after John Adams, to witness a son elected president. Years later, when the latter President Bush was criticized, family members noted that the proud patriarch took the barbs more emotionally than he ever had those once directed at himself.

George and Barbara Bush were married in 1945; they are celebrating the longest marriage ever between a President and his First Lady.

The Official Portrait: The Official White House Portrait of George Herbert Walker Bush by was painted by Herbert E. Abrams in 1994. Abrams, who also painted the Official White House Portrait of Jimmy Carter, died in 2003.

The painting in the background is The Peacemakers by George P. A. Healy.

The painting in the background is The Peacemakers by George P. A. Healy.

George H W Bush Signature

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