Jon Meacham On The Value Of George H.W. Bush 41’s Imperfections And Virtues | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Jon Meacham On The Value Of George H.W. Bush 41’s Imperfections And Virtues | Morning Joe | MSNBC


>>>PRESIDENT BUSH WOULD>>>PRESIDENT BUSH WOULD FREQUENTLY ASK, NEARLY DAILY, HE FREQUENTLY ASK, NEARLY DAILY, HE WOULD ASK HIMSELF WHY ME. WOULD ASK HIMSELF WHY ME. WHY WAS I SPARED. WHY WAS I SPARED. AND IN A SENSE, THE REST OF HIS AND IN A SENSE, THE REST OF HIS LIFE WAS A PERENNIAL EFFORT TO LIFE WAS A PERENNIAL EFFORT TO PROVE HIMSELF WORTHY OF HIS PROVE HIMSELF WORTHY OF HIS SALVATION ON THAT DISTANT SALVATION ON THAT DISTANT MORNING. MORNING. TO HIM, HIS LIFE WAS NO LONGER TO HIM, HIS LIFE WAS NO LONGER HIS OWN. HIS OWN. THERE WERE ALWAYS MORE MISSIONS THERE WERE ALWAYS MORE MISSIONS TO UNDERTAKE, MORE LIVES TO TO UNDERTAKE, MORE LIVES TO TOUCH, AND MORE LOVE TO GIVE. TOUCH, AND MORE LOVE TO GIVE. HE NEVER SLOWED DOWN ON THE HE NEVER SLOWED DOWN ON THE PRIMARY CAMPAIGN TRAIL IN NEW PRIMARY CAMPAIGN TRAIL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE ONCE HE GRABBED THEN HAMPSHIRE ONCE HE GRABBED THEN HAND OF A DEPARTMENT STORE HAND OF A DEPARTMENT STORE MANNEQUIN ASKING FOR VOTES. MANNEQUIN ASKING FOR VOTES. WHEN HE REALIZED HIS MISTAKE, HE WHEN HE REALIZED HIS MISTAKE, HE SAID, NEVER KNOW. SAID, NEVER KNOW. GOTTA ASK. GOTTA ASK. YOU CAN HEAR THE VOICE, CAN’T YOU CAN HEAR THE VOICE, CAN’T YOU? YOU? AS DANA CARVEY SAID THE KEY TO A AS DANA CARVEY SAID THE KEY TO A GEORGE BUSH IMPERSONATION IS MR. GEORGE BUSH IMPERSONATION IS MR. ROGERS TRYING TO BE JOHN WAYNE. ROGERS TRYING TO BE JOHN WAYNE.>>JOHN, WE LEARNED FROM YOU>>JOHN, WE LEARNED FROM YOU AFTER THAT YOU HAD ACTUALLY BEEN AFTER THAT YOU HAD ACTUALLY BEEN ABLE — YOU READ YOUR EULOGY TO ABLE — YOU READ YOUR EULOGY TO THE PRESIDENT WHILE STILL ALIVE. THE PRESIDENT WHILE STILL ALIVE. WHAT WAS HIS REACTION? WHAT WAS HIS REACTION?>>IT WAS FASCINATING.>>IT WAS FASCINATING. WE WERE — IT WAS A GREAT WE WERE — IT WAS A GREAT HONEST, OF COURSE. HONEST, OF COURSE. I’VE ALWAYS HAD, AS YOU PROBABLY I’VE ALWAYS HAD, AS YOU PROBABLY HAVE, THE IMPRESSION OF SITTING HAVE, THE IMPRESSION OF SITTING IN CHURCHES, SITTING IN MEMORIAL IN CHURCHES, SITTING IN MEMORIAL SERVICES AND THINKING, GEEZ, IF SERVICES AND THINKING, GEEZ, IF ONLY THE PERSON WE’RE TALKING ONLY THE PERSON WE’RE TALKING ABOUT COULD HEAR THIS. ABOUT COULD HEAR THIS. AND SO I DECIDED, WELL, WHY NOT AND SO I DECIDED, WELL, WHY NOT JUST SOLVE THIS. JUST SOLVE THIS. AND SO I CALLED UP LAST SUMMER, AND SO I CALLED UP LAST SUMMER, I THINK, AND SAID WOULD YOU LIKE I THINK, AND SAID WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR IT? TO HEAR IT? YES. YES. AND SO HE WAS AT THAT POINT AND SO HE WAS AT THAT POINT PRETTY MUCH IN HIS BEDROOM THERE PRETTY MUCH IN HIS BEDROOM THERE IN WALKER’S POINT. IN WALKER’S POINT. AND I WENT IN AND WE CHATTED A AND I WENT IN AND WE CHATTED A WHILE AND THEN I PULLED UP AN WHILE AND THEN I PULLED UP AN OTTOMAN NEXT TO THE CHAIR WHERE OTTOMAN NEXT TO THE CHAIR WHERE HE WAS, HE WAS IN A RECLINER, HE WAS, HE WAS IN A RECLINER, AND READ IT TO HIM. AND READ IT TO HIM. BOY, HIS EYES DIDN’T MOVE. BOY, HIS EYES DIDN’T MOVE. HE WAS FOLLOWING EVERYTHING. HE WAS FOLLOWING EVERYTHING. AND AT THE VERY END, HE SAID, AND AT THE VERY END, HE SAID, IT’S SO NICE. IT’S SO NICE. YOU KNOW, THERE’S AN AWFUL LOT YOU KNOW, THERE’S AN AWFUL LOT ABOUT ME. ABOUT ME. WHICH I — AND THEN I SAID — WHICH I — AND THEN I SAID — AND RATHER SMART ALECKY WAY, AND RATHER SMART ALECKY WAY, THAT WAS THE MISSION HERE, SIR. THAT WAS THE MISSION HERE, SIR. BUT IT WAS A GREAT HONOR. BUT IT WAS A GREAT HONOR. I KNOW PRIME MINISTER MULLRONEY I KNOW PRIME MINISTER MULLRONEY DID THE SAME THING ON A DID THE SAME THING ON A DIFFERENT TRIP. DIFFERENT TRIP. YOU KNOW, IT WAS JUST YOU KNOW, IT WAS JUST FASCINATING YESTERDAY BECAUSE IT FASCINATING YESTERDAY BECAUSE IT IS, OF COURSE, THE PASSING OF AN IS, OF COURSE, THE PASSING OF AN ERA, BUT HE WAS SO VIBRANTLY ERA, BUT HE WAS SO VIBRANTLY ALIVE, EVEN INTO HIS 94th YEAR. ALIVE, EVEN INTO HIS 94th YEAR. YOU ALL KNOW THIS. YOU ALL KNOW THIS. HE HAD THAT ENVELOPING CHARISMA. HE HAD THAT ENVELOPING CHARISMA. YOU KNOW, YOU ALWAYS FELT — YOU KNOW, YOU ALWAYS FELT — BILL CLINTON ONCE SAID THERE’S BILL CLINTON ONCE SAID THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT GEORGE BUSH THAT SOMETHING ABOUT GEORGE BUSH THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER MAKES YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER MAN. MAN. AND I THINK IF ANYTHING RIGHT AND I THINK IF ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, THE COUNTRY IS EXPERIENCING NOW, THE COUNTRY IS EXPERIENCING THAT TO AN EXTRAORDINARY DEGREE THAT TO AN EXTRAORDINARY DEGREE ALL THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. ALL THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.>>JOHN, WE KNEW THIS DAY WAS>>JOHN, WE KNEW THIS DAY WAS COMING. COMING. AND YET DESPITE ALL THE TIME AND YET DESPITE ALL THE TIME YOU’VE SPENT WITH THE BUSH YOU’VE SPENT WITH THE BUSH FAMILY, ALL THE TIME YOU SPENT FAMILY, ALL THE TIME YOU SPENT STUDYING THIS MAN, ARE YOU STUDYING THIS MAN, ARE YOU SURPRISED AND IS THE FAMILY SURPRISED AND IS THE FAMILY SURPRISED BY THE DEGREE OF THE SURPRISED BY THE DEGREE OF THE OUTPOURING OF RESPECT AND OUTPOURING OF RESPECT AND ADMIRATION THAT THIS COUNTRY AND ADMIRATION THAT THIS COUNTRY AND THE WORLD HAS POURED ON GEORGE THE WORLD HAS POURED ON GEORGE H.W. BUSH’S LIFE AND MEMORY? H.W. BUSH’S LIFE AND MEMORY?>>YOU KNOW, THIS MAY SOUND>>YOU KNOW, THIS MAY SOUND SACCHARIN, BUT HAS THE VIRTUE OF SACCHARIN, BUT HAS THE VIRTUE OF BEING TRUE. BEING TRUE. I DON’T THINK SURPRISE IS THE I DON’T THINK SURPRISE IS THE WORD. WORD. I THINK GRATEFUL IS THE WORD. I THINK GRATEFUL IS THE WORD. YOU KNOW, YOU’VE KNOWN HIM YOU KNOW, YOU’VE KNOWN HIM FOREVER. FOREVER. WE’VE ALL THOUGHT ABOUT HIM AND WE’VE ALL THOUGHT ABOUT HIM AND STUDIED HIM AND I THINK STUDIED HIM AND I THINK PARTICULARLY IN RECENT YEARS PARTICULARLY IN RECENT YEARS WE’VE LONGED FOR A GUY WHO WE’VE LONGED FOR A GUY WHO WOULD, IN FACT, PUT HIS — PUT WOULD, IN FACT, PUT HIS — PUT THE OVERALL GOOD AHEAD OF HIS THE OVERALL GOOD AHEAD OF HIS OWN PERSONAL ISSUES. OWN PERSONAL ISSUES. AND THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE AND THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE INCUMBENT. INCUMBENT. IT IS POSSIBLE, BY THE WAY, IN IT IS POSSIBLE, BY THE WAY, IN AMERICA TO HAVE A CONVERSATION AMERICA TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT SOMEONE AND IT NOT BE ABOUT SOMEONE AND IT NOT BE ABOUT THE INCUMBENT PRESIDENT. ABOUT THE INCUMBENT PRESIDENT. AND TO ME, ONE OTHER POINT ON AND TO ME, ONE OTHER POINT ON THIS, FOR PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE THIS, FOR PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE GETTING TIRED OF THE ENCONUMS GETTING TIRED OF THE ENCONUMS AND THINK IT’S OVERBOARD OR AND THINK IT’S OVERBOARD OR WHATEVER, I BELIEVE AS STRONGLY WHATEVER, I BELIEVE AS STRONGLY AS I BELIEVE ANYTHING S THAT AS I BELIEVE ANYTHING S THAT GEORGE H.W. BUSH IS AS GEORGE H.W. BUSH IS AS INTERESTING FOR HIS INTERESTING FOR HIS IMPERFECTIONS AS HE IS FOR HIS IMPERFECTIONS AS HE IS FOR HIS VIRTUES. VIRTUES. BECAUSE WE LEARN FAR MORE FROM BECAUSE WE LEARN FAR MORE FROM SINNERS THAN WE DO FROM SAINTS, SINNERS THAN WE DO FROM SAINTS, WHICH IS A GOOD THING GIVEN THE WHICH IS A GOOD THING GIVEN THE RELATIVE PROPORTION BETWEEN THE RELATIVE PROPORTION BETWEEN THE TWO AND THE. TWO AND THE. POPULATION. POPULATION. IF YOU CREATE THESE UNREACHABLE IF YOU CREATE THESE UNREACHABLE HEROS, THEY LOSE THE CAPACITY TO HEROS, THEY LOSE THE CAPACITY TO TEACH. TEACH. AND SO GEORGE BUSH WILL BE THE AND SO GEORGE BUSH WILL BE THE FIRST TO TELL YOU, AS HE SAID, FIRST TO TELL YOU, AS HE SAID, YOU KNOW, POLITICS IS NOT A PURE YOU KNOW, POLITICS IS NOT A PURE UNDERTAKING, NOT IF YOU WANT TO UNDERTAKING, NOT IF YOU WANT TO WIN, IT’S NOT. WIN, IT’S NOT. HE UNDERSTOOD. HE UNDERSTOOD. HE SAID IN HIS DIARY, IF I LET HE SAID IN HIS DIARY, IF I LET THE PRESS KEEP DEFINING ME AS A THE PRESS KEEP DEFINING ME AS A LOSER, I WOULDN’T BE CLIMBING LOSER, I WOULDN’T BE CLIMBING THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD. WORLD. BUT THEN WHEN THE CRISES OF HIS BUT THEN WHEN THE CRISES OF HIS TIME CAME AND HE HAD AMASSED TIME CAME AND HE HAD AMASSED ULTIMATE POWER, HE SPENT THAT ULTIMATE POWER, HE SPENT THAT POWER IN A BROADER INTEREST THAN POWER IN A BROADER INTEREST THAN HIS OWN AND HE KNEW IT IN HIS OWN AND HE KNEW IT IN REALTIME. REALTIME. HE SAID I’M GOING TO BE DEAD HE SAID I’M GOING TO BE DEAD MEAT WHEN HE DID THE TAX DEAL. MEAT WHEN HE DID THE TAX DEAL. SO I JUST THINK THE GREAT SO I JUST THINK THE GREAT THING ABOUT BIOGRAPHY, THE GREAT THING ABOUT BIOGRAPHY, THE GREAT THING ABOUT HISTORY, AND THESE THING ABOUT HISTORY, AND THESE KINDS OF WEEKS, THESE KINDS OF KINDS OF WEEKS, THESE KINDS OF MOMENTS, IS THAT YOU CAN TAKE A MOMENTS, IS THAT YOU CAN TAKE A LOOK AT THE TOTALITY OF A LIFE LOOK AT THE TOTALITY OF A LIFE AND IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WE LEARN AND IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WE LEARN A LOT MORE FROM THE PAST NOT IF A LOT MORE FROM THE PAST NOT IF WE LOOK UP AT IT ADORINGLY OR WE LOOK UP AT IT ADORINGLY OR LOOK DOWN ON IT CON — LOOK DOWN ON IT CON — CONDESCENDINGLY, BUT IF YOU LOOK CONDESCENDINGLY, BUT IF YOU LOOK STRAIGHT AT IT. STRAIGHT AT IT.>>JOHN, WE AS YOUR FRIENDS WERE>>JOHN, WE AS YOUR FRIENDS WERE SO PROUD OF YOU YESTERDAY. SO PROUD OF YOU YESTERDAY. IT WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL EULOGY. IT WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL EULOGY. I DON’T KNOW HOW WELL WERE YOU I DON’T KNOW HOW WELL WERE YOU WERE ABLE TO CONNECT AS YOU WERE ABLE TO CONNECT AS YOU DELIVERED IT, BUT PRESIDENT DELIVERED IT, BUT PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH HAD THE SHOULDER GEORGE W. BUSH HAD THE SHOULDER SHAKING WITH LAUGHTER AT THE SHAKING WITH LAUGHTER AT THE RIGHT TIMES. RIGHT TIMES. CONGRATULATION OWES A JOB WELL CONGRATULATION OWES A JOB WELL DONE. DONE. AS WE LOOK BACK ON THE AS WE LOOK BACK ON THE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE H.W. BUSH PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE H.W. BUSH AND CERTAINLY YOU DID A GREAT AND CERTAINLY YOU DID A GREAT JOB LOOKING BACK AT HIS LIFE AND JOB LOOKING BACK AT HIS LIFE AND THERE IS NO CONTESTING THAT HE THERE IS NO CONTESTING THAT HE WAS A GREAT MAN. WAS A GREAT MAN. IS THERE A REASSESSMENT, DO YOU IS THERE A REASSESSMENT, DO YOU THINK, AND NOT JUST IN THE LAST THINK, AND NOT JUST IN THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS, BUT IN THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS, BUT IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS OF HIS PRESIDENCY? SEVERAL YEARS OF HIS PRESIDENCY? OFTEN A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT CAN OFTEN A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT CAN BE DISMISSED AS A BLIP ON THE BE DISMISSED AS A BLIP ON THE PRESIDENTIAL RADAR. PRESIDENTIAL RADAR. WHAT DO WE MAKE OF HIS WHAT DO WE MAKE OF HIS PRESIDENCY TODAY? PRESIDENCY TODAY?>>WELL, HE WORRIED ABOUT ABOUT>>WELL, HE WORRIED ABOUT ABOUT THAT. THAT. HE WORRIED. HE WORRIED. HE SAID ONCE I FEEL LIKE AN HE SAID ONCE I FEEL LIKE AN ASTERISK LOST SOMEWHERE BETWEEN ASTERISK LOST SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE GLORY OF REAGAN AND THE THE GLORY OF REAGAN AND THE TRIBULATIONS OF CLINTON. TRIBULATIONS OF CLINTON. OUR FRIEND MICHAEL BESCHLOFF HAS OUR FRIEND MICHAEL BESCHLOFF HAS A GREAT RULE WHICH IS IT TAKES A GREAT RULE WHICH IS IT TAKES 25 TO 30 YEARS TO FIGURE OUT 25 TO 30 YEARS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT’S HISTORY AND WHAT’S WHAT’S HISTORY AND WHAT’S JOURNALISM. JOURNALISM. IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, IN THE IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, IN THE FALL OF 1992, ONLY 37% OF FALL OF 1992, ONLY 37% OF AMERICANS WANTED TO KEEP GEORGE AMERICANS WANTED TO KEEP GEORGE BUSH AS PRESIDENT. BUSH AS PRESIDENT. YOU KNOW, ONE THING YOU COULD YOU KNOW, ONE THING YOU COULD ARGUE ABOUT HAD THIS WEEK IS IF ARGUE ABOUT HAD THIS WEEK IS IF ALL THESE PEOPLE LOVED HIM SO ALL THESE PEOPLE LOVED HIM SO MUCH, WHY DID HE ONLY GET 37%? MUCH, WHY DID HE ONLY GET 37%? YOU KNOW, HE WOULD HAVE WON IN A YOU KNOW, HE WOULD HAVE WON IN A LANDSLIDE. LANDSLIDE. BUT THE THINGS THAT — AND THIS BUT THE THINGS THAT — AND THIS WAS — HE KNEW, I THINK, AND WAS — HE KNEW, I THINK, AND MRS. BUSH KNEW THIS, TOO, THAT MRS. BUSH KNEW THIS, TOO, THAT THE THINGS THAT WERE COSTLY IN THE THINGS THAT WERE COSTLY IN REALTIME WERE GOING TO BE REALTIME WERE GOING TO BE BENEFICIAL IN RETROSPECT. BENEFICIAL IN RETROSPECT. SO THE TAX DEAL IN 1990, THE SO THE TAX DEAL IN 1990, THE RHETORICAL RESTRAINT AT THE END RHETORICAL RESTRAINT AT THE END OF THE COLD WAR, REFUSING TO GO OF THE COLD WAR, REFUSING TO GO TO BERLIN IN THE FALL OF 1989, TO BERLIN IN THE FALL OF 1989, YOU HAD — THERE WERE PEOPLE IN YOU HAD — THERE WERE PEOPLE IN THAT CATHEDRAL YESTERDAY WHO HAD THAT CATHEDRAL YESTERDAY WHO HAD BEEN POUNDING ON HIM SAYING HE BEEN POUNDING ON HIM SAYING HE WAS OUT OF TOUCH, HE DIDN’T WAS OUT OF TOUCH, HE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE DRAMA AT THE END UNDERSTAND THE DRAMA AT THE END OF THE COLD WAR. OF THE COLD WAR. HOW COULD A GUY FOUGHT HOW COULD A GUY FOUGHT UNDERSTAND THE DRAMA OF THE END UNDERSTAND THE DRAMA OF THE END OF A NUCLEAR STANDOFF WHO HAD OF A NUCLEAR STANDOFF WHO HAD BEEN SHOT DOWN OUT OF THE SKY BEEN SHOT DOWN OUT OF THE SKY WHEN HE WAS 20? WHEN HE WAS 20? WHAT HE DID IS HE ACTUALLY WHAT HE DID IS HE ACTUALLY MANAGED TO PUT A BROADER MANAGED TO PUT A BROADER INTEREST AHEAD OF HIS OWN AND INTEREST AHEAD OF HIS OWN AND OUR INTERESTS FIRST, WHICH WAS OUR INTERESTS FIRST, WHICH WAS LET MIKHAIL GORBACHEV HAVE SOME LET MIKHAIL GORBACHEV HAVE SOME ROOM TO BREATHE. ROOM TO BREATHE. IT’S A CODE THAT BEGAN — AND IF IT’S A CODE THAT BEGAN — AND IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT THAT YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT THAT CHARACTER IS DESTINY, GEORGE CHARACTER IS DESTINY, GEORGE H.W. BUSH WHO AT ANDOVER HELPED H.W. BUSH WHO AT ANDOVER HELPED A KID WHO WAS BEELGINGING BULLIE A KID WHO WAS BEELGINGING BULLIE PULLED A KID OUT OF A BARREL WHO PULLED A KID OUT OF A BARREL WHO WAS STUCK IN IT BECAUSE HE WAS STUCK IN IT BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WANT TO EMBARRASS THE KID DIDN’T WANT TO EMBARRASS THE KID BY RUNNING PAST HIM, THAT BOY BY RUNNING PAST HIM, THAT BOY WAS THE MAN WHO KNEW THAT WAS THE MAN WHO KNEW THAT GORBACHEV NEEDED ROOM TO BOTH GORBACHEV NEEDED ROOM TO BOTH BECAUSE GORBACHEV NEEDED ROOM TO BECAUSE GORBACHEV NEEDED ROOM TO BREATHE THAT DIDN’T WANT TO SEE BREATHE THAT DIDN’T WANT TO SEE RUSSIAN GREATNESS GO AWAY. RUSSIAN GREATNESS GO AWAY. IF YOU DOUBT ME, I REFER YOU TO IF YOU DOUBT ME, I REFER YOU TO VLADIMIR PUTIN WHO WAS ONE OF VLADIMIR PUTIN WHO WAS ONE OF THOSE FOLKS. THOSE FOLKS. AND SO HIS FAILURE TO GET UP AND AND SO HIS FAILURE TO GET UP AND GIVE THE BIG SPEECH AND DECLARE GIVE THE BIG SPEECH AND DECLARE VICTORY IN WHAT KENNEDY CALLED VICTORY IN WHAT KENNEDY CALLED THE LONG TWILIGHT STRUGGLE, IT THE LONG TWILIGHT STRUGGLE, IT HURT HIM POLITICALLY IN THE HURT HIM POLITICALLY IN THE SHORT THERM SHORT THERM SHORT-TERM, BUT HISTORICALLY HE SHORT-TERM, BUT HISTORICALLY HE WILL RECEIVE ENORMOUS CREDIT. WILL RECEIVE ENORMOUS CREDIT. SAME ON DOMESTIC POLICY. SAME ON DOMESTIC POLICY. FIND A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT OR A FIND A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT OR A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT IN THIS DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT IN THIS POLARIZED ERA WHO COULD SIGN POLARIZED ERA WHO COULD SIGN SOMETHING LIKE THE CLEAN AIR ACT SOMETHING LIKE THE CLEAN AIR ACT OR THE AMERICANS WITH OR THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT WITH TWO HOUSES DISABILITIES ACT WITH TWO HOUSES OF CONGRESS IN EN MY HANDS. OF CONGRESS IN EN MY HANDS. I DON’T THINK THAT’S A LONG I DON’T THINK THAT’S A LONG LIST. LIST. NOT A LONG LIST AT ALL, JOHN. NOT A LONG LIST AT ALL, JOHN. AND WE THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH AND WE THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US. US. I JUST WANTED TO BRING UP ONE I JUST WANTED TO BRING UP ONE POINT, THAT, YOU KNOW, IT’S POINT, THAT, YOU KNOW, IT’S INTERESTING THE LAST TIME WE INTERESTING THE LAST TIME WE WERE TOGETHER AND I REMEMBER WE WERE TOGETHER AND I REMEMBER WE WERE AT KENNABUNK PORT AND WE WERE AT KENNABUNK PORT AND WE WERE OUT IN THE DRIVEWAY AND THE WERE OUT IN THE DRIVEWAY AND THE SUN WAS SETTING AND WE TALKED SUN WAS SETTING AND WE TALKED ABOUT HOW THERE WOULD NOT BE ABOUT HOW THERE WOULD NOT BE LEADERS LIKE THIS AGAIN IN OUR LEADERS LIKE THIS AGAIN IN OUR LIFETIME, UNFORTUNATELY. LIFETIME, UNFORTUNATELY. AND WE WERE JUST TALKING AROUND AND WE WERE JUST TALKING AROUND THE TABLE ABOUT PERHAPS THE MOST THE TABLE ABOUT PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT FIGURE IN WASHINGTON, IMPORTANT FIGURE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. RIGHT NOW, THE ST. PAUL’S D.C. RIGHT NOW, THE ST. PAUL’S MAN WHO WENT TO PRINCETON, WHO MAN WHO WENT TO PRINCETON, WHO WENT TO UVA LAW SCHOOL, WHO WENT TO UVA LAW SCHOOL, WHO SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES MARINES, WHO SHOWED UNCOMMON MARINES, WHO SHOWED UNCOMMON VALOR AND WAS, YOU KNOW, WAS VALOR AND WAS, YOU KNOW, WAS AWARDED MEDALS FOR BRAVERY AND AWARDED MEDALS FOR BRAVERY AND HONOR AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN, HONOR AND TIME AND TIME AGAIN, THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE, DECIDED TO THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE, DECIDED TO PASS UP THE ABILITY TO GO INTO PASS UP THE ABILITY TO GO INTO LAW FIRMS AND MAKE MILLIONS AND LAW FIRMS AND MAKE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND INSTEAD MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND INSTEAD CHOSE PUBLIC SERVICE. CHOSE PUBLIC SERVICE. AND ONCE BETWEEN, YOU CAN TALK AND ONCE BETWEEN, YOU CAN TALK ABOUT LEADERS LIKE THIS WITHOUT ABOUT LEADERS LIKE THIS WITHOUT REFERENCING THE CURRENT REFERENCING THE CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. THERE STILL ARE SELFLESS LEADERS THERE STILL ARE SELFLESS LEADERS OUT THERE AND SOME, IN FACT, CUT OUT THERE AND SOME, IN FACT, CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTHE AS GEORGE FROM THE SAME CLOTHE AS GEORGE H.W. BUSH. H.W. BUSH.>>CHARACTER IS DESTINY.>>CHARACTER IS DESTINY. THE GREEKS WROTE THAT. THE GREEKS WROTE THAT. HERICLETUS WROTE IT. HERICLETUS WROTE IT. AND A REPUBLIC IS NOTHING IF NOT AND A REPUBLIC IS NOTHING IF NOT THE SUM OF ITS PARTS. THE SUM OF ITS PARTS. AND SO OUR DISPOSITION, YOURS AND SO OUR DISPOSITION, YOURS AND MIND, OUR DISPOSITION OF AND MIND, OUR DISPOSITION OF HEART AND MIND MATTERS HEART AND MIND MATTERS ENORMOUSLY. ENORMOUSLY. AND PEOPLE LIKE DIRECTOR AND PEOPLE LIKE DIRECTOR MUELLER, PEOPLE LIKE GEORGE H.W. MUELLER, PEOPLE LIKE GEORGE H.W. BUSH, THEY MAY SEEM TO COME FROM BUSH, THEY MAY SEEM TO COME FROM A BYGONE ERA, BUT I PROMISE YOU, A BYGONE ERA, BUT I PROMISE YOU, THEY DON’T SEE IT THAT WAY. THEY DON’T SEE IT THAT WAY. BECAUSE FOR THEM, THEY WEREN’T BECAUSE FOR THEM, THEY WEREN’T GOVERNING — PRESIDENT TRUMP GOVERNING — PRESIDENT TRUMP WASN’T WANDERING AROUND IN A WASN’T WANDERING AROUND IN A FROK COAT WITH A POWDERED WIG. FROK COAT WITH A POWDERED WIG. HE WAS FIGHTING GEORGE MITCHELL HE WAS FIGHTING GEORGE MITCHELL WHO HE USED TO CALL THE SAMMY WHO HE USED TO CALL THE SAMMY SOSA OF PARTISANSHIP. SOSA OF PARTISANSHIP. MIKA KNOWS THIS FROM HER DAD. MIKA KNOWS THIS FROM HER DAD. ON, WE WERE GOING TO WIN THE ON, WE WERE GOING TO WIN THE COLD WAR. COLD WAR. NOT NECESSARILY. NOT NECESSARILY. BISMARCK IS ALLEGED TO HAVE SAID BISMARCK IS ALLEGED TO HAVE SAID GOD LOVES DRUNKS, LITTLE GOD LOVES DRUNKS, LITTLE CHILDREN AND THE UNITED STATES CHILDREN AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. OF AMERICA. I THINK — AS YOU KNOW, I THINK I THINK — AS YOU KNOW, I THINK WE’RE GOING TO COME THROUGH OUR WE’RE GOING TO COME THROUGH OUR CURRENT CRISIS BECAUSE CURRENT CRISIS BECAUSE ULTIMATELY I BELIEVE THE ULTIMATELY I BELIEVE THE INSTITUTIONS CREATED BY JAMES INSTITUTIONS CREATED BY JAMES MADISON AND GIVEN LIFE AND FORM MADISON AND GIVEN LIFE AND FORM BY PEOPLE LIKE ELEANOR ROOSEVELT BY PEOPLE LIKE ELEANOR ROOSEVELT AND FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AND AND FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AND RONALD REAGAN AND I THINK THOSE RONALD REAGAN AND I THINK THOSE INSTITUTIONS ARE FAR STRONGER INSTITUTIONS ARE FAR STRONGER THAN THE STORMS WE FACE. THAN THE STORMS WE FACE.>>WE APPRECIATE IT.>>WE APPRECIATE IT. WILLIE, JOHN BRINGS UP A GREAT WILLIE, JOHN BRINGS UP A GREAT POINT. POINT. WE WILL LEARN A HELL OF A LOT WE WILL LEARN A HELL OF A LOT MORE FROM SINNERS THAN WE DO MORE FROM SINNERS THAN WE DO SAINTS, WHICH IS WHY I THINK WE SAINTS, WHICH IS WHY I THINK WE PROVIDE MORE TEACHABLE MOMENTS. PROVIDE MORE TEACHABLE MOMENTS.>>WE’RE GOING TO BE READING THE>>WE’RE GOING TO BE READING THE NEW ISSUE OF TIME MAGAZINE WHICH NEW ISSUE OF TIME MAGAZINE WHICH FEATURES MORE OF YOUR REFLECTS, FEATURES MORE OF YOUR REFLECTS, JOHN MEACHUM, OF 41’S LIFE AND JOHN MEACHUM, OF 41’S LIFE AND LEGACY. LEGACY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>YOU SEE THAT MOMENT>>YOU SEE THAT MOMENT YESTERDAY, MIKA, WHERE ONCE YESTERDAY, MIKA, WHERE ONCE AGAIN “W” PASSED A MINT — AGAIN “W” PASSED A MINT –>>TO YOUR HERO.>>TO YOUR HERO.>>TO MICHELLE OBAMA WHO IS>>TO MICHELLE OBAMA WHO IS RAPIDLY BECOMING NOT ONLY MY RAPIDLY BECOMING NOT ONLY MY HERO, BUT AMERICA’S HERO. HERO, BUT AMERICA’S HERO.>>IN THAT SILENT MOMENT, THE>>IN THAT SILENT MOMENT, THE BUSH FAMILY WALKING DOWN THE BUSH FAMILY WALKING DOWN THE MIDDLE, PRESIDENT BUSH REACHES MIDDLE, PRESIDENT BUSH REACHES INTO HIS POCKET AND HANDS INTO HIS POCKET AND HANDS MICHELLE OBAMA A MINT IN A CALL MICHELLE OBAMA A MINT IN A CALL BACK TO THEIR MOMENT TOGETHER BACK TO THEIR MOMENT TOGETHER THAT WENT BACK TO — THAT WENT BACK TO –>>AND LOOK AT GEORGE W. BUSH,>>AND LOOK AT GEORGE W. BUSH, THE UNITER, NOT A DIVIDER. THE UNITER, NOT A DIVIDER. THERE’S A MINT AND THE CLINTONS, THERE’S A MINT AND THE CLINTONS, A WARM EMBRACE BY THE CLINTONS A WARM EMBRACE BY THE CLINTONS AND JIMMY CARTER WHO LOOKS, BY AND JIMMY CARTER WHO LOOKS, BY THE WAY, LIKE HE DID IN 1977. THE WAY, LIKE HE DID IN 1977.>>AMAZING.>>AMAZING. I LOVE HIM. I LOVE HIM.>>THEY ARE A REMARKABLE,>>THEY ARE A REMARKABLE, REMARKABLE PEOPLE, THE CARTERS. REMARKABLE PEOPLE, THE CARTERS.>>>STILL AHEAD, AN>>>STILL AHEAD, AN INVESTIGATION INTO VOTER FRAUD INVESTIGATION INTO VOTER FRAUD IS KEEPING THE APPARENT WINNER IS KEEPING THE APPARENT WINNER OF A NORTH CAROLINA OF A NORTH CAROLINA CONGRESSIONAL RACE FROM TAKING CONGRESSIONAL RACE FROM TAKING HIS SEAT IN THE HOUSE. HIS SEAT IN THE HOUSE. STEVE KORNACKI WILL JOIN US TO STEVE KORNACKI WILL JOIN US TO EXPLAIN WHAT’S GOING ON THERE. EXPLAIN WHAT’S GOING ON THERE.>>>PLUS, WE’LL TALK TO THE>>>PLUS, WE’LL TALK TO THE WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN TASKED WITH WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN TASKED WITH PROTECTING THE DEMOCRATIC PROTECTING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S HOUSE MAJORITY IN 2020. PARTY’S HOUSE MAJORITY IN 2020. CONGRESSWOMAN SHERRY BUSTAS CONGRESSWOMAN SHERRY BUSTAS JOINS US NEXT ON “MORNING JOE.”

38 Replies to “Jon Meacham On The Value Of George H.W. Bush 41’s Imperfections And Virtues | Morning Joe | MSNBC”

  1. The same corrupt news media that trashed this man back in the day now praise him. These are true Hypocrites we have for journalist nowadays.

  2. Who is that 'current' American statesman who is 'cut from the same cloth' as the late President Bush (alluded to by Joe) who puts a life of service above self aggrandizement? I'd love to know…(?)

  3. 41st did some things very wrong and was not a perfect man by any means but compared to the current WH occupant he was a saint.

  4. I wonder is Bush ever apologized for some of the bad things, like the Lee Atwater dirty tricks, denigration of the Civil Rights Act, Iran Contra cover-up and then pardoning the criminals, Judge Clarence Thomas?

  5. It's easy to praise the elder Bush as a family man and as a courageous fighter in WWII, but as a President he was far from praiseworthy.

  6. George H.W. Bush had his flaws, but he was better than George W. Bush, and obviously Trump. Both Bush's so into war tho

  7. He wasn’t selfless. He served the rich and he would refer to “a thousand points of light” (charities) if the poorest among us asked for help.

  8. To honor one our Presidents does not mean that we agreed with every policy they made, but that they was OUR President and must be honored and respected to the utmost. Even treacherous Trump must be respected for what he is.

  9. Those of us who get Social Security can than President George HW Bush for it. He killed his own re-election with his raising of taxes but that in part allowed SS to be made solvent again. That ALONE was a significant achievement. Disabled Americans can also thank him on the American Disabilities Act. When we breathe cleaner air, we can thank him for the Clean Air Act. He was the most consequential one term President ever.

  10. I just read where Bush's funeral is going to cost upward of a half a billion dollars from the taxpayer boy if that ain't sticking to the people one last time

  11. A picture, it is said, is worth a 1,000 words…the picture of trump ostracized is worth a million! Akin to seeing a donkey amidst a gathering of Kentucky Derby winners. 4 legs and a tail, and that is where the similarity ends.

  12. I believe the US need it's own renaissance.
    To become again the leader of the western culture. A country with values .
    Politically , financially strong.
    You do this type of renaissance.
    Fast.
    BRUNO Brizzi Maccaferri.

  13. One of Bush's problems in 1992 was the fact that he had Danny Quayle for a VP and Bush had heart problems. I am an Independent, not a big political person but voted for Clinton because I couldn't face Bush having a heart attack in office and Quayle becoming president!!!

  14. Thank you, Mr. Meacham, for mentioning our former PM, Mr. Mulroney. We Canucks are so little-known in the U.S….and Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Bush — and Mr. Reagan before him — were good friends. As our countries were — for 150 years (or so)…until recently. We were hoping for 4 more years of Obama…Sigh…

  15. P.S. As Canadians, we appreciate the 'clean air act' – to stop the acid rain flowing up from the U.S., threatening the maple trees in Quebec (especially), and thus threatening the collection of sap that is converted to maple syrup. I grew up in that part of the world, and couldn't quite believe it when this began to occur.

  16. There are two sides to each president: policy/politics and a personality. I find these three presidents to be the most fascinating personalities, each one in his own way: Teddy Roosevelt, FDK and GHW Bush. Skydiving at age of 90 alone makes him the coolest president ever.

  17. As a non American, but a student of America, I thought Meacham represented 41's virtues and imperfections very well. Even as an outsider I value 41's contributions and his humanity. A great and fitting eulogy. Thanks.

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