Bush Presidential Center with Executive Editor William W. The former chief executive was by turns gracious and funny, humble and deadly serious, and very eager to talk about painting, veterans — and life after leaving the biggest job in the world.
But then I opened that book, and it's full of very moving stories and striking images.
[Laughs.] So how did you get from Churchill's memoir to serious portraiture? I've had three instructors, all painters who brought different skills, and I tried to absorb, to learn everything I could, from each one. Secondly, you've got to learn how to talk about it.
And you can make a significant contribution to a company, a nongovernmental organization, a group of people.
Some of my more difficult critics have been the females in my family. [Bush begins flipping through photos of paintings on his smartphone — "300 or 400" by his count — displaying some favorites.] Cactus.… Think about it: Eighteen-year-old kids volunteered to face danger. Over time, Rod's been [overcoming his wounds], and one of the ways he's doing this is by learning to forge metal.
I have painted a few portraits of the grandchildren, none of which were really accepted. But I did do one grandchild painting I want to show you. It's to honor veterans I've gotten to know, who are an incredible asset to our country. So the purpose is not only to honor them — and, frankly, to do something unique that has never been done, which is a commander in chief painting portraits of troops he put into combat — but also to call attention to the invisible wounds of war like PTS and TBIs. The first message is, you've got some skills that are really important. What advice do you give to veterans who have left what might have been the biggest job in their lives?“But to use the image of this threatening black man — people call it a dog whistle; it was a pretty clear whistle.”The fear of Willie Horton continues to haunt politicians today.When President Barack Obama was trying to forge a bipartisan coalition to overhaul the criminal justice system to ease sentencing laws that many in both parties believe went too far, some lawmakers worried that any change that resulted in the release of someone who would then go on to commit another violent crime could be political suicide. Bush expressed no regret for the Horton ad, and some of his longtime allies have long argued that he got a bad rap for something that was not really of his making.When we last checked in with former President George W. Bush, in 2011, he had just published his second book, was building his presidential library and policy institute on Southern Methodist University's campus in Dallas, and was considering his options. So you wanted to do something besides golfing and biking and serving veterans. I was fit, and I was reading a lot, but just had one of these itches, you know? Al Gore, then a senator from Tennessee, was the first to try to wrap the Horton case around Mr. The one that would be remembered for years to come was produced not by the Bush campaign but by an operative named Larry Mc Carthy working for an ostensibly independent group called the National Security Political Action Committee.Dukakis’s neck during the Democratic primaries that year. Bush picked up the theme, citing the case during speeches, and by fall, his campaign began airing an ad attacking the Massachusetts furlough program, showing a series of prisoners walking through a revolving door. The ad, called “Weekend Passes,” singled out Horton, showing a picture of his scowling face as the narrator described his torture and rape of the Maryland couple.As president, he vetoed civil rights legislation on the grounds that it would provide for quotas, but ultimately he signed an updated version of the bill into law. Bush was there waiting for him on the tarmac to welcome him to town. Obama then became one of the last outsiders to see Mr. Bush looked at campaigning and governing differently.“He regarded politics and campaigning as just the dirty business,” Mr. He appointed only the second African-American person ever to serve on the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, to replace the first, Thurgood Marshall, but the choice angered African-American leaders on the left who considered Justice Thomas too conservative. Bush was unfailingly gracious and friendly with everyone, black or white, and gave no indication that it mattered to him. Bush alive last week when he visited him at his Houston home three days before his death.