Friday, March 25, 2011

The Living Presidents

I actually heard this listening to the radio yesterday, but there was a Kennedy Center event to honor George H.W. Bush and all the living ex-presidents were in attendance, which was pretty cool as this is the first time since President Obama's inauguration that they have gathered. President George H.W. Bush arrived in a wheelchair, showing his declining health. George W. Bush spoke, as well as his brother, Governor Bush, but there were also comments by the two Democrats.

The night included comments from President Clinton lauding President Bush:
Clinton recalled in a speech how he fell in “love” with his old Republican rival as they worked together in South Asia after the 2004 tsunami and then along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Clinton joked about his "odd couple" relationship with Bush, saying that “Barbara [the former First Lady] began to refer to me as their black-sheep son.”

“This man whom I’d always liked and respected and then run against in a painful campaign in some ways, I literally came to love,” Clinton said. “And I realized all over again how much energy we waste fighting with each other over things that don’t matter. When there are things that do matter, disagreements are healthy. But nobody’s right all the time, and nobody’s wrong all the time.”

President Carter also spoke:
Jimmy Carter talked about his own work with Habitat for Humanity and his post-presidential commitment to volunteerism.

“For everything he’s, we’re deeply grateful,” Carter, accompanied by his wife, Rosalynn, said of Bush. “There’s some people who see a need and just take it upon themselves to meet it.”

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