George Bush turned out to be a one term President. He was a decent man, a good Veep to Reagan – able and experienced. But in 1992 America was looking for someone new. Someone younger, someone more charismatic, someone who would clearly draw the line under the generation of Reagan of which GHWB was part. Bill Clinton, 22 years his junior, was that man.
The letter was not released by Clinton until 2016, a couple of years before his predecessor died. That was the year that Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th President of the United States. The two men, Bush and Clinton, Republican and Democrat a generation apart were united by their service and their patriotism. And, without doubt, their aversion to the man who was shortly to move into the office they had honoured.
GHWB and his son George Bush Junior, both had different politics to the man who was in office between them. But that was on the margins. Both made mistakes personal and political. But at no point did they vulgarise their presidencies to the extent that Trump has. (And, no, I haven’t forgotten Monica and the consequences of Clinton’s foolish dalliance).
America desperately needs renewal. The Clinton/Bush letter shows how it should be. I have always honoured the Office of President of the United States. Years ago I toured the White House and went into the Oval Office and I realised then that there is a symbolism to the job of President that goes beyond America. We should all care about it. That’s why Trump is more than an aberration – he is an obscenity. He wouldn’t recognise “wonder and respect” in a million years. High time the world was rid of him.