Archive for the ‘Herbert Abrams’ Tag

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

Portraits: Jimmy Carter   Leave a comment

James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr. (1924 –  )

Jimmy Carter, portrait at the National Portrait Gallery by Robert Clark Templeton

Jimmy Carter, portrait at the National Portrait Gallery by Robert Clark Templeton

The 39th President of the United States, 1977 – 1981

AKA: Jimmy, The Peanut Famer

From: Georgia

College: Georgia Southwestern College, Georgia Institute of Technology, US Naval Academy

Married to: Rosalynn Smith

Children: Jack, James, Donnel, Amy

Party:  Democratic

Previous Jobs: Peanut farmer, US Navy officer, state senator, Governor of Georgia

In His Words: “At the end of a long campaign, I believe I know the people of our state as well as anyone. Based on this knowledge of Georgians North and South, Rural and Urban, liberal and conservative, I say to you quite frankly that the time for racial discrimination is over.”

“We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon.”

“I’ve looked on many women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me.”

“I never felt that my dedication to military service was a violation of my faith in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.”

“Let us learn together and laugh together and work together and pray together, confident that in the end we will triumph together in the right.”

“We are a purely idealistic Nation, but let no one confuse our idealism with weakness.”

“Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use.”

“We are completely in bed with the Israelis to the detriment of the well-being of the Palestinians.”

“I can’t deny I’m a better ex-president than I was a president.”

Not true: In 1994, President Clinton and North Korea escalated tensions when North Korean President Kim Il-sung threatened to process spent nuclear fuel. Clinton then secretly recruited Carter to go on a “private” peace mission to North Korea to allow them a graceful exit without losing face.

Carter did indeed come to an understanding with President Kim Il-sung … but then went even farther. Without authorization, he negotiated a treaty and announced it on CNN – without Clinton’s permission – to help force the President’s hand. Eventually, a version of the treaty was signed and tensions did in fact decrease.

Until North Korea broke the treaty in reaction to a dispute with President George W Bush’s administration and the North Korean government of President Kim Jong-il.

It is true that Carter exceeded his “secret” authority, and whether or not the treaty was ultimately successful depends on your perspective. Bush administration officials, after North Korea discarded the agreement, stated they never intended to follow it. Carter felt the problem was with the Bush administration. In the end, however, the agreement was broken and North Korea remains unrepentant to this day.

True: Jimmy Carter is the first President born in a hospital.

In high school, Carter was a member of the Future Farmers of America.

In response to the 1979 USSR invasion of Afghanistan, Carter decided to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Amy Carter, who grew up while her Dad was President, had a tree house on the South Grounds of the White House. Sometimes she watched special ceremonies from there.

Carter is one of only 4 Presidents that did not have an opportunity to nominate a US Supreme Court Justice.

Carter is the only President to receive the Nobel Peace Prize after leaving office.

The Official Portrait: Herbert E Abrams painted this 1982 portrait of Jimmy Carter that’s in the White House collection. It was a gift to the White House from an anonymous donor. Abrams also painted the official White House portrait of George H. W. Bush.Jimmy Carter, officlal White House Presidential Portrait

Jimmy Carter Signature

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