Parker: The Bush I knew

Apr 29, 2013

In a reprieve from the horror of the most recent terrorist attack, the nation’s attentions turned to the man who declared the war on terrorism, George W. Bush.

During Thursday’s dedication of his library at Southern Methodist University, nary a word was spoken about the most controversial aspect of his tenure, the Iraq invasion. All living presidents were in attendance and made only generic references to mistakes and regrets familiar to all. Of course Bush famously acknowledges no mistakes or regrets, but rather bequeaths judgment to history and self-doubt to those of lesser conviction.

This observation, though true, is not the whole story of Bush, however. Nearly everyone who has known Bush up closer than a video clip has a different impression of him than what is more popularly accepted. The arrogant, swaggering caricature of the 43rd president was mostly a shield. Bravado of the “bring ’em on” variety was more personal jab than foreign policy statement, though one suspects Bush enjoyed the sound of tiny feet scurrying to keyboards in search of deeper meaning.

Obviously, what a president says and does is fair game for criticism. The way Bush chose to express himself was the way he would be perceived and judged. To act arrogantly is to be arrogant in the public eye. To speak awkwardly is to be awkward.

But in private, Bush was a very different man.

In small groups, he was articulate and confident. When the cameras were off, he was relaxed and natural. Not everyone is made for TV, and this is no criticism. It can be a deficit for public figures, but people who are at one with lights and cameras are sometimes better actors than statesmen.

Everyone is familiar with Bush’s history and performance. What I offer is an anecdote or two that I think reveal what the cameras and critics could not. These recollections are simply recorded for the sake of biography in the interest of rounding out a more complete picture of a two-term, transformational president who changed our world in ways that won’t be fully understood or judged in our lifetimes.



None of us has ever walked in a President's shoes. None of us can truly know what a President does every day of his life in office...when he "starts" his work day...when he "stops" working for the day, if ever. I'm a mid/senior level manager in a company of over 100k people, could work 20 hours every single day, and I *STILL* would have something else I could do in hour 21 to contribute in my role. So when I start to consider the responsibility of holding the office of the POTUS, I can't even begin to fathom if the men who have held the office ever got a chance to really rest, or laugh, or truly relax.

We roll our eyes and bemoan when we here a POTUS took a vacation at Camp David or their ranch in California or Texas, or spent a few days at Martha's Vineyard, or in Hawaii. We groan when we see pics or a video of a POTUS laughing and smiling with a golf club in their hands.

I haven't an earthly clue why a man or woman would ever want to be the POTUS. I run a minimum of 5 miles daily for both my physical and mental health, yet if I was POTUS, I don't know if 5 miles would be enough to clear my head for a few minutes.

No matter what a POTUS does, he's getting bashed by one group for not doing enough, getting bashed by another for going too far, getting bashed by yet a 3rd group for making the totally wrong decision, and getting bashed by a fourth group for focusing on something they think as totally irrelevant and either a waste of time or misdirection of focus. And this doesn't even begin to include the bashing he'll get not only from all opposing political parties but also folks within his own party.

I've read countless historical articles about our President's, and the only President who didn't seem to have critics was Washington. Or at least I haven't found any historical articles citing critics. But every other President had their critics. And every President always will.

I may not agree with the actions of each President while in office, including those I've voted for, but I always remember there's one thing we share in common: we're all human.


O'BOZO only works maybe half the time. I say this is a good thing. He should take more and longer vacations, heck, take Joe with Him. I'd like to see them go on a 3 1/2 year vacation. Some place real peaceful to, as was mentioned, clear their heads. Maybe take in the Northern Lights or spend a winter in Anarctica? Polar Expedition?

The Big Dog's back

The One Hundred Eighth United States Congress was the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2005, during the third and fourth years of George W. Bush's presidency

Senate President: Dick Cheney (R)
Senate Pres. pro tem: Ted Stevens (R)
House Speaker: Dennis Hastert (R)
Members: 100 Senators
435 Representatives
5 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Republican Party
House Majority: Republican Party


Your POINT Sunshine?

The Big Dog's back

Republican controlled Congress. Puts an arrow thru your propaganda.


Again: It was Pres. GHW Bush along with a DEMOCRAT controlled House and Senate which authorized the first invasion of Iraq in 1991.

The Big Dog's back

Sunshine, did you read what you posted? The 1st Gulf War was based on a lie also. Read before you post, and not just the headlines.


Nope! That's the answer to the question: "Who put us there in the first place?"

If the Democrats LIED, that's a different topic Twinkles.

The Big Dog's back

Read the article in it's entirety before you embarrass yourself even more.


You're so darn cute when you chase your tail! :)


You can train or teach a puppy but it's really hard to teach an "Old Dog" any new tricks. They have become to use to their old ways are don't have the ability to absorb anything different. I have given up on several Labs and a couple beagles. I don't know Big Dogs breed but I've given up on trying to teach Him.