The Softer Side of a President

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: Dec 06, 2006 8:22 AM

I'm loving hearing Papa Bush talk about his sons these days.

A couple weeks ago, he was sticking up for W in front of an anti-American crowd:

"My son is an honest man," Bush told members of the audience who harshly criticized the U.S. leader’s foreign policy.

"We do not respect your son. We do not respect what he’s doing all over the world," a woman in the audience bluntly told Bush after his speech.

Bush, 82, appeared stunned as others in the audience whooped in approval.

A college student told Bush his belief that U.S. wars were aimed at opening markets for American companies and said globalization was contrived for America’s benefit. Bush was having none of it.

"I think that’s weird and it’s nuts," Bush said. "To suggest that everything we do is because we’re hungry for money, I think that’s crazy. I think you need to go back to school."

Yesterday, he choked up over Jeb: "Barbara would bawl me out for breaking up," he said.

"He didn't whine about it. He didn't complain," the former president said before choking up. As he tried to continue, he let out a sob and put a handkerchief to his face. When he spoke again, his words were broken up by pauses as he tried to regain composure.

"A true measure of a man is how you handle victory and how you handle defeat, so in '94 Floridians chose to rehire the governor. They took note of his worthy opponent, who showed with not only words but with actions what decency he had," Bush said before again sobbing...

"The moral of the story is to serve with honor and your governor has served with honor," the former president said.

"I'm the emotional one," Bush said later. "I don't enjoy breaking up, but when you talk about somebody you love, when you get older, you do it more."

It probably won't faze them, but it's nice for those who revile this family so much to see that it's made up of real people with real emotions.