So said Sen. Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming, as he concluded his remarks at the funeral of his dear friend, former President George H.W. Bush, our 41st president. With a twinkle in his eye, Simpson informed us that George had mentioned he talk no more than ten minutes.
Glancing about the huge majestic room in Washington Cathedral, where Sen. McCain’s life was celebrated four months earlier, President Trump and his wife could be seen joining the row of the trio of ex-presidents and their wives. Apart from a brief handshake with former President Obama, as Trump’s wife slid in next to him, there was no interaction between President Trump and the others.
Many speakers spoke of George H.W. Bush as a President who devoted his political life to serving American citizens — not exploiting them for personal gain. His son George Jr., proudly described his dad as America’s best one-term president — a claim that might well be met with agreement by most presidential historians. Defeat at the polls for his second term did not diminish his popularity as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of us who participated or were glued to our TVs during the six days honoring this humble man.
There was high praise by many for the last of the presidents who fought in WWII, praised for his military service and public responsibility. I was surprised at how glued to the TV I was and how much I learned that I should have probably known but did not about the difficulties he handled with such grace and humility. At any rate, I had to agree with Sen. Simpson’s final remarks, “that those who travel the high road of humility in Washington D.C. are not bothered by heavy traffic.”
One wonders how President Trump felt that day as he was totally ignored by the thousands there. Not the same audience as those who attend his mindless talks about fake news, witch hunts and the need to ‘build that wall’ to keep those criminal immigrants out of our country! Watching the thousands turn out to view the train pass by carrying the body of this modest patriot was further proof that the kind of republicans Trump represents are not the kind the world witnessed these six days. One wonders if the present politicians serving in today’s house and senate realize the serious effects resulting from allowing their party to be highjacked. The party of true patriot republicans must wonder how this was allowed to occur.
In spite of the awkwardness President Trump and his wife must have felt that day, surrounded by thousands of mostly republicans who totally ignored him, his behavior was described by others traveling with him several days later as withdrawn. Unable to maintain a heavy schedule abroad—during his public duties, skipping events in France and the U.S, to honor America’s World War I dead because it was raining—was a decision ridiculed by others. Apparently he blamed aides for his political troubles and ordered Vice President Mike Pence to take his place at an economic summit in Asia. Some aides felt he was beginning to realize he actually lost the midterm elections, leaving him vulnerable to congressional oversight for the first time in his presidency.
Political junkies find it hard to stay away from the never-ending news. Others retreat to Hallmark Movies or sports. This is life in the USA as the year approaches 2019. Stay tuned.