We never met a man as remarkable as George H.W. Bush — and we never will again

The two us of never met a man as remarkable as George Herbert Walker Bush. We never will again. As both public figure and private individual, he set a standard of excellence astonishing in its scope.

As a leader, he deftly guided the world through a peaceful ending to the Cold War after it had stood on the brink of nuclear destruction for four decades. He did so with the wisdom of a man well-schooled in foreign affairs who selflessly put his country above himself and partisan politics. The world — enemies and allies alike — respected him as a leader of modest demeanor but steely resolve. He was proud of our nation’s ideals and pragmatic in advancing our interests. Above all, he understood our country’s unique place in world affairs and nurtured international institutions and coalitions that supported it.

As a politician, George H.W. Bush bridged partisan divides and built consensus for far-ranging laws that continue to help our citizens today. The Americans With Disabilities Act and legislation that largely ended acid rain are just two examples. He remains the model for the shrinking band of bipartisan officials who represent the responsible middle of our polity, where deals are struck that last longer than a presidential term.