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Conan's Newsletter No. 13
Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
This is an overwhelming week for everyone, so I will only recommend one book -- a book about a president. Nothing more and nothing less.
The book is Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. The 41st President's biography also gives a great view of American politics from the sixties to the end of the 20th century. Is there a better time than now to reminisce about American traditions?
Bush's road to Whitehouse was by no means rosy. He experienced much more failure than success throughout his career. He was defeated twice for his Senate bid (1960 and 1970), lost to Regan in the 1980 republican primary, and failed to get a second term. The loss of the 1992 presidential election to Bill Clinton was exceedingly hurtful for him. He called the pain "ghastly" many years after he left the Whitehouse.
No matter what happened, the 41st president held on American values and traditions to his heart. He had rivals but virtually no enemies, and he had proven himself an attractive and reliable man to those who know him.
Nothing is more exemplar than his handling of the government transition after the agonizing defeat. In a Whitehouse tour after the election, Bush told Clinton: "I want to tell you something when I leave here; you are going to have no trouble for me. The campaign is over. It was tough, but I'm out of here, and I will do nothing to complicate your work, and I just want you to know that." He also left a well-wish letter for Bill Clinton when he left the Whitehouse -- a beautiful symbol for American value. Even without his other outstanding achievements, this letter alone would make George H.W. Bush a revered and memorable president.