George W. Bush surprises GOP governors at RGA meeting

Imagine the opposite of this meeting, on steroids.

W. dropped by the Republican Governors Association meeting in Arizona Thursday at the request of new RGA head Gov. Chris Christie:


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s first act as chairman of the Republican Governors Association Thursday was a secret to all but a few close aides — organizing a surprise appearance by former President George W. Bush.

The 43rd president stopped into Scottsdale, Ariz., on his way to a speech in Oklahoma on Thursday night to speak with the more than 20 Republican governors in a private lunch at the group’s fall meeting. The event, at the plush Phoenician Resort’s wood-paneled steakhouse overlooking the terraced pools and golf course here, featured short remarks from Bush and a longer question and answer session over a two-hour lunch.

“It was absolutely wonderful to have him here,” said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. “He was very upbeat and charismatic.”

If you’re looking for 2016 tea leaves, there’s not much, but Bush does commend the governors for being the “best breeding ground” for presidents, according to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Most were mum:

When asked about Bush supporting the idea that the next presidential nominee should come from one of the nation’s statehouses as opposed to Washington, D.C., Fallin did not reveal more details of the conversation, but said: “I think in general there is a popular opinion that the leadership of the nation would benefit from the governors because we are used to governing vs. someone who has never had to govern a government operation.”


Gov. Rick Perry’s reaction is, as usual, very Perry. He and Bush’s team have a famously cool relationship.

“Tasty. It was a tasty piece of steak.”

And, since we’re in a moment of W. nostalgia, let me offer perhaps the greatest picture of him ever, taken this Halloween with his new grandson:


He wasn’t a perfect president, but he’s is quite a man. Listen to Dana Perino’s story from her years in the White House, recorded this week as part of Real Clear Politics’ Morning Commute series.

Exit quotation: “I’d like you to try to forgive him.”

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024