Thursday, December 06, 2018
George Herbert Walker Bush, America's 41st president, was a war hero, a congressman, an ambassador, the head of the CIA, Ronald Reagan's number two and, between 1989 and 1993, the most powerful man in the world. He also enjoyed a more dubious distinction - membership of the small group of sitting presidents who have stood for re-election and lost. Since 1933, only Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford have been beaten in a general election while occupying the White House. "History is beginning to recognize that George Bush was the best one-term president in American history," James Baker, the former secretary of state and a friend of Bush the Elder, recently told the New York Times. While much of Bush the Elders rehabilitation previously seems to have been the result of the former president's pleasant personality and personal decency and, obviously, his funny socks American academics and journalists are now also starting to reassess the 41st's presidency.
George H. W. Bush's foreign policy stands out as the gold standard of American leadership. Facing one of the most complex and overlapping global evolutions since Franklin D. Roosevelt at the height of World War II, Bush the Elder's administration guided America well through years of global upheaval. Therefore, the presidents' stellar leadership in historic times of upheaval can serve as a role model for future and current American presidents. Any American president would be well advised to ask himself or herself: "What would George Bush Sr. do?"
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