Ge­orge H.W. Bush made his great­est mark in the Gulf War.

The State (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY MICHAEL GRACZYK

He was the man who sought a “kin­der, and gen­tler na­tion,” and the one who sternly in­vited Amer­i­cans to read his lips – he would not raise taxes. He was the pop­u­lar leader of a mighty coali­tion that dis­lodged Iraq from Kuwait, and was turned out of the pres­i­dency af­ter a sin­gle term. Blue-blooded and gen­teel, he was elected in one of the nas­ti­est cam­paigns in re­cent his­tory.

Ge­orge Her­bert Walker Bush was many things, in­clud­ing only the sec­ond Amer­i­can to see his son fol­low him into the na­tion’s high­est of­fice. But more than any­thing else, he was a be­liever in govern­ment ser­vice.

“There is no higher honor than to serve free men and women, no greater priv­i­lege than to la­bor in govern­ment be­neath the Great Seal of the United States and the Amer­i­can flag,” he told se­nior staffers in 1989, days af­ter he took of­fice.

Bush, who died late Fri­day at age 94, was a con­gress­man, an am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions and en­voy to China, chair­man of the Re­pub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee, di­rec­tor of the CIA, twoterm vice pres­i­dent and, fi­nally, pres­i­dent.

He was no ide­o­logue – he spoke dis­parag­ingly of “the vi­sion thing,” and de­rided the sup­ply-side creed of Ron­ald Rea­gan as “voodoo eco­nom­ics.” He is gen­er­ally given bet­ter marks by his­to­ri­ans for his for­eign pol­icy achieve­ments than for his do­mes­tic record, but as­sess­ments of his pres­i­dency tend to be tepid.

“Was Ge­orge Bush only a nice man with good con­nec­tions, who sel­dom had to wrest from life the hon­ors it fre­quently be­stowed on him?” jour­nal­ist Tom Wicker asked in his Bush bi­og­ra­phy.

Wicker’s an­swer: Per­haps. But he said Bush’s ac­tions in Kuwait “re­flect mo­ments of courage and vi­sion wor­thy of his of­fice.”

Ge­orge Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary

Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush greets troops in Saudi Ara­bia weeks be­fore the start of the Per­sian Gulf War in 1991. Bush’s ac­tions in Kuwait “re­flect mo­ments of courage and vi­sion wor­thy of his of­fice,” jour­nal­ist Tom Wicker said.

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