Today we said goodbye to Barbara Bush. In this age of the scripted message, her candor and humor was refreshing.
How well I remember the Presidential campaign of 1992 when Barbara Bush came to Minnesota to promote her husband’s candidacy. After several appearances marked by a high level of candor and wit, we found ourselves in an unoccupied room and enjoyed in a memorable conversation. Almost before we started, she blurted, “Oh, sometimes I wish George would lose.” We both laughed. She was simply expressing an honest thought felt by every political spouse.
Looking back, I was struck by two elements of her being. The first was her remarkable ability to make people feel at ease. She was so comfortable in her own skin that it radiated a comfort to others. There was no pretense. You got what you saw and that was truly wonderful.
The second aspect was her interest in you. She never boasted about herself or her family. Rather, the conversation was about you and your thoughts. The older I become, the more I realize the rarity of that quality.
During our chat, I shared with her my thoughts on historical transitions. She was clearly interested. That evening, I received a call from the President wanting to know more about these transitions. Clearly, they were a sharing and caring couple.
Barbara Bush set a standard for us regarding truth and our obligation to the future. The best way for us to demonstrate our affection for this splendid lady is to put the truth and the wellbeing of others before self.
Thank you, Barbara….