Green Room

Time-lapse footage: Constructing the George W. Bush presidential library

posted at 12:56 pm on April 23, 2013 by

The visual history of a two-and-a-half year project in less than two minutes, via the Dallas Morning News:

The formal dedication is slated for Thursday, with all five living US presidents in attendance.  When Bush shakes Obama’s hand at the ceremony, our 43rd and 44th presidents will share something in common: A job approval rating of 47 percent.  While we’re on the subject of President Bush, be sure to read Ron Fournier’s stirring tribute to Bush’s abiding decency in National Journal.  A taste:

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer walked into the media cabin of Air Force One on May 24, 2002, and dropped identical envelopes in the laps of two reporters, myself and Steve Holland of Reuters. Inside each was a manila card – marked by a small presidential seal and, in a simple font, “THE PRESIDENT.” Handwritten in the tight script of President George W. Bush, both notes said essentially the same thing: “Thank you for the respect you showed for the office of the President, and, therefore, the respect you showed for our country.” What had we done? Not much, really. An hour earlier, at a rare outdoor news conference in Germany, Steve and I decided to abide by the U.S. media tradition of rising from our seats when the president entered our presence. The snickering German press corps remained seated. “What a contrast!” Bush wrote. “What class.”

He remembered names of the spouses and children of his staff, and insisted that hard work at the White House not be an excuse to let family life suffer. One steamy summer day in 1999, then-Gov. George W. Bush called me with an exclusive interview and interrupted my first question. “What’s all that noise in the background, Fournier?” he asked. “I’m at the pool with my kids, governor.” Bush replied, “Then what the hell are you doing answering your phone?” Damn good question, sir. We quickly ended the interview.

Bush’s policies aside, those who know him best have always been struck by his kindness, integrity and humanity.  Who among us wouldn’t be proud of such a legacy?

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