In the hours following the death of George H.W. Bush at the age of 94, former presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton stepped up to offer her condolences for the family of America’s 41st president.
Clinton took to Twitter on Saturday to share a message of heartfelt thanks to Bush, who served as U.S. president from 1989 to 1993.
“George H.W. Bush was a beloved father [and] grandfather, a war hero, a public servant, [and] a class act. In my experiences [with] him, I always valued his desire to listen, look at evidence [and] ask for ideas, even from people [with] different beliefs. My heart goes out to the entire Bush family.”
George H.W. Bush was a beloved father & grandfather, a war hero, a public servant, & a class act. In my experiences w/ him, I always valued his desire to listen, look at evidence & ask for ideas, even from people w/ different beliefs. My heart goes out to the entire Bush family.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 1, 2018
While Clinton and Bush were from different sides of the spectrum in terms of politics, the two were notably good friends over the years. Bush, who lost his chance at a re-election in 1992 to President Bill Clinton, shared a letter once with the couple as Bill succeeded him in the role.
“Dear Bill, When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too,” Bush had written in a letter.
“I wish you great happiness here,” he continued. “I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described. There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course. You will be our [underlined by Bush] President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success now is our country's success. I am rooting hard for you.”
George H.W. Bush’s letter to Bill Clinton, Inaugural Day 1993: pic.twitter.com/DDoObe0Anv— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) September 3, 2017
Bush signed off with the words, “good luck” and his first name, George.
Though short and intimate, the note left in the Oval Office for the new president dug roots into a novel friendship between the two that flowered well into decades after, with Bill issuing a statement Friday declaring how he “just loved him.”
“His friendship has been one of the great gifts of my life,” Bill said, according to The Washington Post. “I cherished every opportunity I had to learn and laugh with him.”
Clinton recalls the letter making her cry when she first read it all those years ago.
“That’s the America we love,” she said, according to CTV News. “That is what we cherish and expect.”
Bush and the Clintons remained friends for years after that. Even when it was time for Clinton to run in the heated 2016 election, Bush — a lifelong Republican and the father of former President George W. Bush — voted for the former U.S. senator and Secretary of State in the Democratic candidate’s failed run against former reality star-turned world leader, Donald Trump, according to NBC News.
Bush, who died late Friday night and almost eight months after former First Lady Barbara Bush this past April, had been hospitalized several times over the last few years, from side effects of his Parkinson’s Disease, including a fall that led him to break a vertebrae in his neck while at his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The war hero and patriot who had once faced death at just 20 years old while as a naval aviator in WWII, was hospitalized in April 2017 due to a “mild case of pneumonia” and temporarily placed on a ventilator, where he was then treated in the intensive care unit.0comments
He is survived by his five children, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings.
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