Karl Rove: George Bush’s leadership by example

Karl Rove: George H.W. Bush had a deep patriotism

Karl Rove: George H.W. Bush had a deep patriotism

Former President George H.W. Bush felt an obligation to serve, says Karl Rove, former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush.

It has been gratifying to see George H.W. Bush finally receive the recognition he deserves. He was one of the finest men to serve as president and among America’s most consequential chief executives.

Bush was the last of the Greatest Generation to serve in the Oval Office. In their youth, these men and women saved the world from Nazism and Japanese imperialism. In their middle years, they defended freedom in the struggle against Soviet communism, which ended on President Bush’s watch.

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The Greatest Generation embodied timeless values at the heart of the American character. After winning the war, they came home, began life anew, created prosperity, and built the institutions that brought peace to the postwar world. Bush rushed through Yale in two and a half years while starting a family and leading the Yale baseball team to the College World Series in 1947 and 1948. He then went to Texas to learn the oil business and entered politics in 1963.

FILE -- Former President George H.W. Bush arrives at the 2007 Ronald Reagan Freedom Award gala dinner held in his honor in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

FILE — Former President George H.W. Bush arrives at the 2007 Ronald Reagan Freedom Award gala dinner held in his honor in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

I met Bush in 1973 when I was 22, the newly elected national head of the College Republicans, which had reputation for needless internecine warfare. I was summoned from my office in the Republican National Committee’s subbasement for a lecture from RNC Chairman Bush on behaving ourselves. When Bush asked if we had any questions, my executive director said he had heard the chairman kept a speedboat on the Potomac. Could he borrow it that weekend? Bush said yes to Lee Atwater’s cheeky question.

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