And he knew the intelligence world due to his service as director of the CIA. Bush had an especially intimate feel for diplomacy. By the time he became president, he had the world's most extensive collection of relationships with presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and business leaders.
He understood that effective diplomacy required the patient building of trust, something that often eludes leaders across national, ideological and cultural boundaries in our era. This was an essential factor in nearly all his many foreign policy successes as president. Bush's combination of in-depth knowledge and sophistication about the world, along with his ability to connect to other leaders personally, was the key to his approach to the presidency.
One of the reasons Bush was so widely admired by those of us in the career foreign service and by our colleagues in the military was that he believed in us. He believed in the power of government to do great things. And he also governed by seeking to unite us as Americans, not to divide us. There is no doubt, however, that there was something else about him that made people like and trust him and want to follow his lead — his humility. This is apparent in an excerpt of a conversation with his granddaughter Jenna that has been circulating on social media in the days following his death.
It was that aspect of George H.
Bush's character that made all of us who worked in his administration admire him. He gave the credit to other leaders. Bush's steady, civil bearing came through at the most challenging moments. When the Berlin Wall was opened to two-way East-West traffic in November , his staff, many members of Congress and half the press corps urged him to go to Berlin to proclaim the end of communism. Bush's reply was: "I'm not going to dance on the wall. This rare quality of leadership — of putting the national interest before his personal interest — persisted throughout his presidency.
When it was clear that the USSR would finally collapse in December , many of us on the White House staff urged the president to give a major speech to the nation on our victory in the Cold War. The president resisted for weeks. Then, on Christmas Eve , Scowcroft called Hewett and me to say the president had relented.
He would give the speech after all and a draft was needed at 8 a.
Christmas morning! Bush addressed the American people Christmas evening. Typically, he did not proclaim it as a victory for what he had done but what we — America and our allies — had achieved. Bush went on to pay tribute to Gorbachev, whom he had called a few hours earlier to say good-bye. He spoke for the entire nation when he looked into the future toward "a new world of hope and possibilities and hope for our children, a world we could not have contemplated a few years ago.
Perhaps that was George H. Bush's greatest gift to America — his boundless grace, dignity, integrity and his everlasting hope for America and the world. Looking back, we were fortunate indeed that he was the president in the Oval Office when he helped the world change, for the better, at the Cold War's end.
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Markets Pre-Markets U. George HW Bush's presidency left the world a more peaceful and stable place There is a convincing case to be made that George H. Bush was one of the greatest global leaders of all our presidents, writes Nicholas Burns, former U. Bush's steady, civil bearing came through at the most challenging moments, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The stables are located in an idyllic spot on the edge of the forest, and the flowers are blossoming on the meadows and in the flowerboxes at the stables.
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