Reflecting on the Legacy of Former President George H.W. Bush

WSJ What's News
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The nation paid tribute to former President George Hw Bush on Wednesday with President Trump declaring a national day of mourning for his funeral services. The forty first president was eulogized by among others, his son. Former President George W Bush course, dad taught me a no special lesson. He showed me what it means to be a president who served with integrity leaves with courage and with love in his heart for the citizens of our country. When they history books are written. They will say that George H W Bush was a great president of the United States. A diplomat of unmasks killed a commander in chief of formidable accomplishment and a gentleman who executed to do these of his office with dignity and honour Wall Street Journal executive Washington editor Jerry Cy who covered the late president's term in office attended his funeral services on Wednesday. He joins us now to reflect on the life and legacy of former president, George H W Bush, Jerry, thank you so much for joining us. And for those of us who watched the ceremonies at home or at work on Wednesday. I wonder if you can start by just giving us a sense of what it was like to be there at the Washington National cathedral to witness this in person. Well, it was first of all a remarkable crowd that gathered there, you know, you have to remember George H W Bush left office. Quarter century ago twenty more than a quarter century ago in yet you had representatives from all across the world and all across American life there, which I think spoke of the kind of place that he holes in the American memory now, he's he's appreciated more. Now, I think it's fair to say, then he was when he left office, and that's true around the world you had Brian Mulroney. The former prime minister of Canada was eulogised because they became great friends. You had the Prince Charles of the United Kingdom there. You had the king of Jordan. You had the current German prime minister, and you had a whole assemblage of Americans of of significance in substance over the last thirty or forty years all gathered there, so I guess the first thing that struck me was there's only one man who could have brought this crowd together. And that's probably George H W Bush. The second thing that struck me was, you know, George Bush forty first president came to the Oval Office with maybe the best resume anybody's every carried into the Oval Office. He was vice president he was head of the CIA. Use UN ambassador. He was on voided China. He was a member of congress. He had run the Republican party. He was a successful businessman, and he had by most accounts an extraordinarily successful presidency. Lease on the foreign policy front. He oversaw the end of the Cold War, the unification of Germany and a successful Persian Gulf war, yet almost all the conversation. And almost all the eulogizing was about the kind of guy. He was in this word that former President George W Bush used in the clip we heard at the outset here decency. You kept hearing it over and over again his decency at his civility. And I thought it was striking that at a time. When people think a lot of that has been lost in the political debate. That's the thing that people kept coming back to when talking about George H W Bush and for you having covered his presidency. Were there any other particular moments during the ceremonies that resonated with you? I think it was it was that that he was an easy person to cover. For in the sense that he was approachable and really was kind of an open book, which you saw is what you got. Also, what struck me was the loyalty of the people who worked for him. I mean, all kinds of people that I hadn't seen in years and years made it back for this occasion. Which says something about the the way they felt about him. You know, there were a lot of jokes about things we used to joke about because, you know, reporters who I was White House reporter that. And there are pretty cynical lot. Usually we talked a lot about how he wasn't exactly silver-tongued. He was not the world's greatest public speaker. He would Bank lists words and use malapropisms frequently and we all joked about that and made fun of him for that..

Coming up next