Happy Holidays from Barbara and George H.W. Bush
The holiday season frequently features both selfless charity and empty gestures. For Barbara and George H.W. Bush, 2006 proved no exception.
Appearing on ABC's This Week on Christmas Eve, the President's parents recalled their work over the past week ringing the bell for the Salvation Army in Houston. Calling it "the Lord's work," Bush the Elder declared "There's so many people in need, so many people that need help." Mrs. Bush concurred, adding:
"Giving is so easy...We just ought to share. We have so much. And it's a joy to share."
Of course, former First Lady Barbara Bush hasn't always found such joy in sharing with the poor, the disadvantaged and the destitute. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mrs. Bush felt quite differently about the influx of largely African-American refugees from New Orleans:
"Almost everyone I've talked to says we're going to move to Houston. What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."
To his credit, George H.W. Bush has displayed a much softer touch than his wife Barbara, about whom Richard Nixon once famously said, "she knows how to hate." In 1988, Poppy the glowing grandfather was also the diversity advocate, pointing out to Ronald Reagan, "That's Jebby's kids from Florida, the little brown ones."
So happy holidays from the Bush clan. Don't let chaos in Iraq, crisis in Iran, threats in North Korea and genocide in Darfur get you down. As Barbara Bush herself put it:
But why should we hear about body bags and deaths...why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?