Friday, November 05, 2004

TRUE NORTH by Sonja Eddings Brown


The Happiest Man In The Country

He didn't win two terms.

He didn't get Saddam Hussein.

Never enjoyed a majority in the House or Senate.

As "Bush 41", he never managed to deliver a tax cut or a fat economy.

But he raised 5 wonderful children and one of them for sure, is a chip off the old block:

The 43rd President of the United States-- "Bush 43."

George Herbert Walker Bush has to be the happiest man in the country this week. After sitting on the sidelines for four years watching his son be denied, attacked, insulted, underestimated and unappreciated at a level of viciousness never before seen in American politics, this week's convincing and historic crush of the opposition must have been indescribably. . . delicious.

Prouder of his accomplishments as a father than as a leader of the free world, Bush 41 must feel enormous joy at seeing his son not only equal him, but surpass him.

Election night Herbert Walker Bush stayed up all night with George W. and the rest of the family hoping for a victory celebration. Jeb Bush had already announced earlier in the day that his parents were a little on edge about the election. He said Mother Bush was going out of her mind with nerves and his Dad's ulcer seemed to have returned.

No wonder.

By 3:30A.M., the elder Bush finally had to give up the vigil and go to bed. He had hoped to join George W. at the Reagan Center for a jubilant acceptance speech. Heaven knows he'd earned it.
But once again his son was denied a more traditional and predictable win. Notice that the White House chose not to hurry Senator Kerry, nor pressure him into accepting the obvious.

Bush 41 had to pass on the public victory. But what a private celebration it must have been:

To watch the New York Times eat crow after Maureen Dowd and lesser reporters snidely denigrated his son's abilities and motives for over a thousand days. To see Dan Rather starving for ratings. To see Tom Daschle, such an effective obstructionist, come up short for another term. To watch the Capitol align in favor of a sitting Republican president for the first time since 1900. To see believing people turn out by the millions to stand up for George W. Bush, because he stood up for them.

Yep. As a father, it doesn't get much better than that.

George Herbert Walker Bush may not go down in history as one of the most pivotal presidents in history, perhaps just a good one. But he will go done in history as being the proud father of a president who truly "met his moment" in challenging times.

It is easy to trace George W's strengths right back to the place where they were cultivated: at home.

The source of George W's greatness is his family and his faith in something larger than himself. The gift of wealth certainly gave him up a leg up, but that isn't what defines him. It is the values of his parents, and their examples, both publicly and privately, that distinguish him from others.

Perhaps you will remember a picture in a national magazine of George and Barbara Bush reading the paper in bed on a Sunday morning. The President's hair was unkempt, and newspapers and grandchildren were strewn about the covers. That picture spoke a thousand words about the success of the Bush family.

The Bush grandkids jumped on the bed because their parents probably jumped on the bed. Strong, close, healthy families recognized that comfortable and safe little scene.

The photographer behind that picture revealed a most precious secret about the confidence and the convictions of President George W. Bush.

There is a clear and simple reason that George W. is well-married and has a strong
family, why separating right from wrong comes easily to him, and why he cares about keeping his commitments to the American people.

He has been well-loved.


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