About 600 of George H.W. Bush’s closest friends, administration officials, political allies and family members headed to his presidential library in Texas this past weekend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his presidency. Familiar faces such as former secretary of state James Baker, ex-chief of staff John Sununu, and onetime vice president Dan Quayle spent the time reminiscing about their glory days, eating heaping plates of barbecue and listening to live country music played by Clay Walker and Garth Brooks.
“It’s like a combination between a college reunion and ‘The Big Chill,’ ” said Ron Kaufman, a longtime political director for the 41st president.
And no reunion would be complete without people falling into obvious tropes.
“This is going to be a conversation among a group of old dutters drinking vodka, scotch, Jack Daniel’s or, in [former national security adviser Stephen] Hadley’s case, slurping green tea.” — Robert Gates, former CIA director/defense secretary/class clown.
“Sorry, I’d love to talk, but I’m at Table One, and you know who sits there.” — Karl Rove, mastermind GOP operative/climber.
“Where did everybody go? I know they are around somewhere.” — Joe Trippi, token Democrat/dweeb.
Of course, 41, the man of honor, would have to be the class president. But it was his son Jeb who may have earned the best title of all: most likely to succeed.
At a packed town-hall meeting Sunday morning in College Station, Jeb said he would make a decision by the end of the year on jumping into the 2016 presidential race. Among the factors he was weighing: whether a candidate in this day and age could “run with a hopeful, optimistic message, hopefully with enough detail to give people a sense that it’s not just idle words and not get back into the vortex of the mud fight.” He added, “In my case, that means, can one do it joyfully without being tied to all the convention of the here and now?”
SOURCE: Ben Terris
The Washington Post