George HW Bush Is The Modern Role Model For Politics
"George HW Bush is the modern role model for folks in politics. There are too few today, if any, like him. You can oppose without belittling your opponent. You can disagree without being disagreeable. You can serve with your only motive being doing what is right for the people you serve. Every public servant needs to know they can be like him and ask themselves if they have the courage to serve rather than be served. "
Congressman and Bush Deputy Chief of Staff, Henson Moore
My father and President Bush knew each other in the oil industry. My father mentioned many times to me that George HW Bush was one of the most honorable men he had ever known. Years later I got to know the President in my own right when I entered politics and he was National Party Chairman. The night I won my first election to Congress we called him in China where he was serving as our nation's envoy to tell him the news. We suddenly became aware of the great time difference between Baton Rouge and Beijing during that telephone conversation and apologized for the call. President Bush laughed and said, "Don't worry, nobody ever calls me over here." Typical of him to never make any one feel uncomfortable and to always have interest in the other person.
Years later when he was Vice President, he campaigned for me. When he ran for President, I returned the favor. But I really got to know him when he asked me to join his Administration. I was hesitant to re-enter politics and leave my law practice with kids in college. It it turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I served the entire four years of his term as our 41st President. The first three years I was his Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy. In that role I attended many Cabinet meetings and observed the President first hand. He was always respectful of others, sincerely interested in their thoughts and opinions, and used the Cabinet as a sounding board and board of advisors. The last year of his Administration he asked me to move to the White House as Assistant to the President and his Deputy Chief of Staff. In that job I was with him virtually every day, all day and traveled with him. At times there was just the two of us on the back seat in a limo. He often expressed his thoughts or spoke of his family in those moments. At every instance of my observations, he never lost his temper, or treated some one badly, or spoke ill of any one including tormentors from the opposition. He always was considerate of the smallest person as there was no rank with him. He would wince privately when his motorcade would delay traffic because he wished to not cause any one a problem. He always had a smile on his face and would start the day striding into the Oval office saying "Hello everybody." He meant that greeting for absolutely everyone, secretaries, staff, or the steward serving coffee. George Bush was genuinely interested in them all. What I saw privately is what everyone else saw publicly. There was not a private and public President Bush. He was genuine all the time, a gentleman all the time, and dedicated to doing what he thought was right.
He believed in public service and once refused an idea I presented on behalf of his staff that he should veto only a part of a bill passed by Congress. He stoutly refused because there was no precedent for a partial veto, and he refused to do something that might help his re-election but he felt was not in the long term interest of America. George Bush respected every person in public service regardless of party.
The bottom line of my personal observations of George HW Bush is that he is the modern role model for folks in politics. There are too few today, if any, like him. You can oppose without belittling your opponent. You can disagree without being disagreeable. You can serve with your only motive being doing what is right for the people you serve. Every public servant needs to know they can be like him and ask themselves if they have the courage to actually serve rather than be served.
Henson Moore represented Louisiana's 6th District in Congress. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary of Energy under President George HW Bush.