The Bedrock Decency of President George W. Bush

For an America consumed with ‘hip and cool,’ we will get what we deserve in the presidency of Barack Obama. We voted in a shadowy, secretive man, who thwarted every effort to discover his measure of integrity – at a time when it should have become known before he became President.

America knew a little about Bill Clinton’s escapades in Arkansas…ignored them…learned of others, including rape, state troopers “delivering” Paula Jones to his hotel room, and Monica in the Oval Office. We ignored the opportunities for blackmail at the highest levels of our Government. America embraced all of it. We loved his less than full measure of integrity.

We knew everything about GWB. He admitted his alcoholism, and his need for God in his life. He admitted he was a randy college student and an onery son. He admitted that his faith, and his wife and daughters had changed his life. He admitted he had been down a lonely and dangerous road, and turned back, vowing to make a difference in the lives of others. We watched him over the past eight years improve the lives of many around the world. The press hated it. He was ridiculed for his decency.

Exit George W. Bush. He will continue to treat former Presidents Clinton and Carter, with every respect due the Office of the President, even though this time-honored respect has been denied him, even as a sitting-President, by these two loathsome examples of less than full measures of integrity.


Why I’ll Miss President Bush
Wall Street Journal
by Jim Towey

Mr. Towey was director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2002-2006. He is president of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa.

President Bush will soon be heading home and for many that day cannot come soon enough. Count me among those who will miss him and his bedrock decency.

He had a rough road from day one. His first inauguration struck me as a portent. I was there, shivering in the grandstands on Pennsylvania Avenue. At the exact moment the president heard “Hail to the Chief” for the first time and was announced to the audience, a sleet storm descended from the skies.

It has never let up.

Through it all Mr. Bush kept his head up and soldiered on. He took the criticism in stride. I remember riding with him in his presidential limousine to the Washington Hilton for a speech. A woman standing at an intersection directed an obscene gesture at him that I had hoped he missed. The president waved to her and with a bemused look said to me, “Did you see what she did?”

Many other Americans, particularly the “values voters” who helped elect him twice, will miss him because of what he achieved: Samuel Alito and John Roberts on the Supreme Court, children in schools that now are better because they are accountable, African women who now have medicines for their HIV-infected babies, and religious charities that are finally being treated by government as partners instead of rivals.

I remember coming to the West Wing one morning before the daily 7:30 senior staff meeting and seeing Mr. Bush at his desk in the Oval Office, reading a daily devotional. I remember the look of sorrow on his face as he signed letters to the families of the fallen. When he met with recovering addicts whose lives were transformed by a faith-based program, he spoke plainly of his own humiliating journey years ago with alcohol. When a Liberian refugee broke into tears after recounting her escape to freedom in America, the president went over and held and comforted her.

Little acts behind the curtain like these inspired intense loyalty by staff members. They spoke of someone never too busy or burdened to care — Read more.

End Towery essay.


Thanks to my ever vigilant cousin, Marilyn.