Tuesday, September 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Presidents converge to salute one of their own

Statues of former Presidents George W. Bush, left and his father George HW Bush stand outside the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.   AP photo

Statues of former Presidents George W. Bush, left and George HW Bush are seen during a tour of the George W. Bush Presidential Center Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Dallas. More than 8,000 people are expected to attend the invitation-only dedication of the center, Thursday, April 25, which will house the presidential library and museum along with the 43rd presidentís policy institute. It opens to the public on May 1. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By
From page A2 | April 25, 2013 |

DALLAS (AP) — All the living American presidents past and present are gathering in Dallas, a rare reunion to salute one of their own at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Profound ideological differences and a bitter history of blaming each other for the nation’s woes will give way — if just for a day — to pomp and pleasantries Thursday as the five members of the most exclusive club in the world appear publicly together for the first time in years. For Bush, 66, the ceremony also marks his unofficial return to the public eye four years after the end of his deeply polarizing presidency.

Bush will be feted by his father, George H.W. Bush, and the two surviving Democratic former presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. President Barack Obama, fresh off a fundraiser for Democrats the night before, will also speak at the event at the sprawling, 23-acre complex housing the presidential library, museum and policy institute.

In a reminder of his duties as the current Oval Office inhabitant, Obama will travel to Waco in the afternoon for a memorial for victims of last week’s deadly fertilizer plant explosion.

Key moments and themes from Bush’s presidency — the harrowing, the controversial and the inspiring — won’t be far removed from the minds of the presidents and guests assembled to dedicate the center, where interactive exhibits invite scrutiny of Bush’s major choices as president, such as the financial bailout, the Iraq War and the international focus on HIV and AIDS.

On display is the bullhorn that Bush, near the start of his presidency, used to punctuate the chaos at ground zero three days after 9/11. Addressing a crowd of rescue workers amid the ruins of the World Trade Center, Bush said: “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

“Memories are fading rapidly, and the profound impact of that attack is becoming dim with time,” Bush told The Associated Press earlier this month. “We want to make sure people remember not only the lives lost and the courage shown, but the lesson that the human condition overseas matters to the national security of our country.”

More than 70 million pages of paper records. Two hundred million emails. Four million digital photos. About 43,000 artifacts. Bush’s library will feature the largest digital holdings of any of the 13 presidential libraries under the auspices of the National Archives and Records Administration, officials said. Situated in a 15-acre urban park at Southern Methodist University, the center includes 226,000 square feet of indoor space.

A full-scale replica of the Oval Office as it looked during Bush’s tenure sits on the campus, as does a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. In the museum, visitors can gaze at a container of chads — the remnants of the famous Florida punch card ballots that played a pivotal role in the contested 2000 election that sent Bush to Washington.

Former first lady Laura Bush led the design committee, officials said, with a keen eye toward ensuring that her family’s Texas roots were conspicuously reflected. Architects used local materials, including Texas Cordova cream limestone and trees from the central part of the state, in its construction.

From El Salvador to Ghana, Bush contemporaries and former heads of state made their way to Texas to lionize the American leader they served alongside on the world stage. Among the foreign leaders set to attend were former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The public look back on the tenure of the nation’s 43rd president comes as Bush is undergoing a coming-out of sorts after years spent in relative seclusion, away from the prying eyes of cameras and reporters that characterized his two terms in the White House and his years in the Texas governor’s mansion before that. As the library’s opening approached, Bush and his wife embarked on a round-robin of interviews with all the major television networks, likely aware that history’s appraisal of his legacy and years in office will soon be solidifying.

An erroneous conclusion that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a bungling of the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and a national debt that grew much larger under his watch stain the memory of his presidency for many, including Obama, who won two terms in the White House after lambasting the choices of its previous resident. But on Wednesday, Obama staunchly defended Bush’s commitment to America’s well-being while addressing Democratic donors.

“Whatever our political differences, President Bush loves this country and loves his people and shared that same concern, and is concerned about all people in America,” Obama said. “Not just some. Not just those who voted Republican.”

There’s at least some evidence that Americans are warming to Bush four years after he returned to his ranch in Crawford, even if they still question his judgment on Iraq and other issues. While Bush left office with an approval rating of 33 percent, that figure has climbed to 47 percent — about equal to Obama’s own approval rating, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released ahead of the library opening.

Bush pushed forcefully but unsuccessfully for the type of sweeping immigration overhaul that Congress, with Obama’s blessing, is now pursuing. And his aggressive approach to counterterrorism may be viewed with different eyes as the U.S. continues to be touched by acts of terrorism.

Although museums and libraries, by their nature, look back on history, the dedication of Bush’s library also offers a few hints about the future, with much of the nation’s top political brass gathered in the same state.

Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, stoked speculation about her own political future Wednesday in a Dallas suburb when she delivered her first paid speech since stepping down as secretary of state earlier this year. Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, another potential 2016 contender, flew to Texas to take part in the library dedication. And Bush talked up the presidential prospects of his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in an interview that aired Wednesday on ABC.

“He doesn’t need my counsel, because he knows what it is, which is, ‘Run,’” Bush said.

Obama, too, may have his own legacy in mind. He’s just a few years out from making his own decision about where to house his presidential library and the monument to his legacy.

————

By Josh Lederman. Follow him at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

UCD’s Tercero hopes for platinum LEED certification

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Relief, gratitude follow Marsh guilty verdict

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Janet Wagner bids farewell to Sutter Davis

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Nolan says he’ll keep an open mind

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Common Core: A new way to learn

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Standing In: Facing my fears in Oregon (and barely surviving)

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

A welcome challenge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Cool Davis: working on local solutions to global warming

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2

 
More rain dampens huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Brown vetoes $100 million boost for UC, Cal State

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Learn about elections at Connections Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

All voices welcome at Oct. 1 sing-along

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Meet Poppenga for coffee on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Locals invited to join worldwide LDS conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Bucks for Ducks raises funds for Yolo Basin Foundation

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

A winning combination: video games + science

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Word association: What comes to mind when you hear the word Davis?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C3 | Gallery

Public invited to free summit on aging

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Snapshot: The art of the matter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C3

Nursery school plans rummage sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Yolo Hospice offers support through the grieving process

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Three microbreweries featured at Rotary Oktoberfest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Eernisse, Partida honored as Women of the Year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Davis Community Meals needs cooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Study examines why mail ballots are rejected

By Jeffrey Day | From Page: A5

Gold STARS for UCD’s West Village

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Project Linus seeks donations

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Homecoming fun is no myth

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Students invited to apply for Blue & White grants

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Volunteers sought to make veggie bags

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Where did Common Core standards come from?

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A6

Farm to Fork movement thrives locally

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C6 | Gallery

 
Maher replaces Wagner as Sutter Davis CEO

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7

The ‘condensed’ version

By Dave Jones | From Page: A8

 
Snapshot: Recycling made easy

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C9

 
Mike Nolan, at a glance

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

Snapshot: Science is fun at Explorit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C11

 
Davis residents benefit from active service organizations

By Rachel Uda | From Page: C12 | Gallery

Davis Media Access brings community TV, radio

By Autumn Labbe-Renault | From Page: C14 | Gallery

 
Snapshot: Ban the bag

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C16

 
.

Forum

She just wants to get married

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Monte Wolverton cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

When does she graduate from home?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

 
I return to the mountains and memories of Mom

By Marion Franck | From Page: A14

There’s no pill to get younger

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

 
Love comes in all colors — and yes, even in black

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A14

Archer, Adams best qualified

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16

 
And another academic year begins …

By Our View | From Page: A16

They’re consensus-builders

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16Comments are off for this post

 
Sunder for school board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

Spacious mothering revisited

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A17 | Gallery

 
At the Pond: Thanks, activists

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A18 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

 
Walker draws coaches’ praise after solid performance

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Tale of two halves does in UC Davis, 37-14

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Elk Grove spoils DHS football Homecoming

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Depth comes through for Blue Devil harriers at Stanford

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Elk Grove overwhelms Devil JV footballers

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

 
UCD roundup: Scoreless ties for both Aggie soccer teams

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

 
New sick leave law: Don’t worry; you’ll feel better

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

Stocks end rocky week with a surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
Activist investor pushes Yahoo to buy rival AOL

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Obituaries

Michael Allen Hanks Baxter

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, September 28, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8