Lanny Davis: "Bush The Man"

Jan 2009
This is just one portion of a piece by Democrat Lanny Davis who worked in the Clinton White House. I didn't know until just now that Lanny was a Classmate of and friend of George W. Bush's at Yale. And while this article talks of all the ways Davis didn't agree with most (not all) Bush's policies, when he addresses, Bush the man, it's pretty nice and quite revealing about Bush's character. This is that portion only with Link provided below:

Lanny Davis:

"And now to address Mr. Bush the man.

I have written before about his basic decency and empathy as a person, hearkening back to an incident I recall vividly during Yale days when we were both residents within the small community of Davenport College. We were hanging out one night when a classmate of mine, who was obviously gay, walked by. Someone made a nasty crack. Mr. Bush snapped, ?knock it off? or something to that effect - ?why don?t you try walking in his shoes and seeing how it feels.?

I remembered this incident more than once as I watched with dismay Mr. Bush allowing his political advisers to use gay marriage as a polarizing political tool to help him win re-election in 2004. But I also knew that Mr. Bush had provided tens of millions of dollars to Africans suffering from AIDS or other diseases.

I know him as a kind man who reaches out to friends in good times and bad, a husband and father who loves his family, and a son whose love and devotion to his mom and dad are profound.

And, finally, I know him as a president who can talk to a particular 10-year-old I know and make him feel important and not patronized. That 10-year-old is my son, Josh.

Josh came home one night from school and asked me whether it was really true that I knew and liked both Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush, because his friends thought that was impossible. Weren?t Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush presidents from different political parties, he asked? Aren?t you a Democrat like Mr. Clinton? How can you be friends with Mr. Bush, too?
He seemed skeptical that that was possible. I saw it as a challenge from my 10-year-old. So the next day, I sent a note to Mr. Bush, told him about Josh?s skepticism, and asked whether I could bring Josh over to meet him.

A few weeks later, Josh was sitting in the Oval office with Mr. Bush. My wife and I were standing away, against the wall, not included in the conversation. We watched with amazement as the president and our 10-year-old engaged in what was apparently a serious conversation for 10 minutes or more.

Then the president reached into his desk drawer and took out a baseball (Josh is a pretty good baseball player, as was Mr. Bush when he was at Yale) and signed it. We overheard the president tell Josh how frightened he had been when he had to throw the first ball out in Yankee Stadium after 9/11, choosing to do so from the pitching mound. He told Josh that he feared - as Derek Jeter had warned him after a practice session in the player?s tunnel leading to the field - that he might throw the ball into the dirt and embarrass himself.

Josh laughed, appreciating why that would be embarrassing to a baseball player.
When we were done, young Josh said goodbye with a firm handshake, a smile, and a clear, ?Thank you, Mr. President.? As we walked out of the West Wing, I asked Josh what he thought about Mr. Bush. ?He?s cool,? was the reply, Josh?s ultimate compliment.

Now do you understand, I asked him, why I can disagree with him, vote against him, but still like him? Josh nodded, yes.

Mission accomplished."

I have a new-found respect for Lanny Davis for teaching his son this valuable lesson.
Jan 2009
That's quite interesting, and overall I believe that perhaps the nation was too harsh on Bush including myself. However as a leader, he could have done better. But just because someone is a good person, does not necessarily make them a good leader as it's hard to do both things.

This article definitely shows the more positive aspect of Bush, as a person. No one is perfect, and with that said the Bush administration is now pretty much over. It's time to move on and try to assist the next administration in improving our nation.