tv U.S. Senate Sen. Alexander Tribute to Barbara Bush CSPAN April 19, 2018 8:41am-8:50am EDT
the floor. >> former first lady barbara bush died on tuesday. her funeral will be saturday in houston. yesterday a number of senators came to the senate floor to talk about her life. >> mr.st president, yesterday or country lost a bright, caring, independent lady, my wife and i lost a good friend, your barbara bush set a wonderful example as mom, wife, first lady, advocate for adult literacy. we expressed to the bush family our sympathy and great respect for the life of barbara bush. jon meacham wrote the biography of george h. w. bush, barbara bush's husband, to great acclaim. he had access too the diaries of president bush and barbara bush
i was almost unparalleled with any other biographers experienc experience. so as a plane and unvarnished biography that tell us a lot about those two individuals. i thought a better name for the book, it was named destiny and power, which wasow improperly named because it sold a lot, would be the last gentleman. and if i were to make a really accurate suggestion about the title of the book, i would call it, the last " gentleman and his lady, or maybe the last gentleman and his very independent lady. he can barbara bush was a very independent lady. i remember it was 1991, it was a sunny day and we are walking on the south lawn a of the white house. i was the education secretary and i was walking with president and mrs. bush to the announcement of the g.i. bill
for kids, which was his school choice program for low income children. as we walked along, barbara bush turn to president bush and said, george, you've got on the wrong pants. he had his suit coat on from one suit and yet pants on from another suit. so she said to him, to the president, you go on back in and change clothes, and we will wait here for you, which we did, and he did. on another occasion, president bush invited my wife and me to join barbara and the president at ford's theater. as the protocol goes, he got out first, and as she was about to get and she said, i would get the door, george. so i'm still another location i was sitting next to barbara and george bush, at the president
was called on to make some remarks and he leaned over to his wife and said, barb, what should i talk about? and she whispered back very loudly, about five minutes, george. barbara bush was quite a woman. she said what she thought. when her, second one of her sons decided to run for president,, she was reported to have said, i think we've had enough bushes. when i i ran99 for president i9 against her other son, i made whaty i thought, sorted by today's standard some very mild comments, disagreed with him about something and i heard from barbara bush out what i had said about her son, george w. bush. not many of us think how difficult it must be to be the spouse of the president of the united states, all that one goes to think the harder it must be
to o also be the mother of a president of the united states, and the mother of another distinguished on whose governor of a large state and who ran for barbara bush was the anchor of her family, and a very successful and remarkable family it was. i wasn education secretary for president bush in 1991 when the national literacy act was enacted and let's use barbara's own words to describe the event. you'll find it in her memoir. she wrote i must say i got more credit than i deserved. i don't agree with that, , but e continued, i heard that george is going to give the pain to me, but before he could send a simon spoke up and said that ought to go to barbara. so i donated to the george bush presidential liber center. in the end, however, barbara bush wrote, it's not pinson count. the national literacy act that really counts. ofwas the first piece legislation and today the only
one ever enacted t specifically for literacy with the goal of ensuring that every american adult acquires the basic literacy skills necessary to achieve the greatest possible satisfaction professionally and personally. but even more than that, the act seeks to strengthen our nation by giving us more productive workers and informed citizens. in his biography of president george h. w. bush, jon meacham wrote of a generational controversy, in his words, that bush endured in may of 1990. endured in may of she was invited to her alma mater, she washe invited, not hr alma mater, to wesley college, to speak at graduation and receive an honorary degree. but she was being criticized by
wells leaves young women. because b as president bush putn his own diary, these are president bush's words, because she hasn't made itr on her own, because she was is because she's her husband wife what's wrong with the fact that she's a good mother, president bush wrote in his diary? a a good wife, a good volunteera great leader for literacy and other fine causes, nothing but to listen to these elitist kids there is. mrs. bush invited mrs. gorbachev was visiting the white house to go along with them. there she confronted the issues of work c and family and the roe of women head on, delivering a well-received commencement address. she put the audience at ease by saying early on that one day i'm sure that someone indi this audience will go up to be, a
spouse of the president of the united states, and i wish him well, he said. she also said, maybe we should just faster. maybe we should adjust slower. that is what she told the graduates. whatever the era come whatever the times, one thing will never change fathers and mothers. if they haveo children they must come first. you must read to children and you must hug your children and you must love your children. your success as a family, our success as a society, depends on not what happens in the white house but what happens in your house. barbara bush to the wellesley graduate in 1990. the country is expressing to the bush family as i'm trying to today our great respect for barbara bush his wife. president bush, george h. w.
bush has sent a response to those of us who have sent our condolences and i'd like to close with the president's own words about his wife, barbara. this is what george h. w. bush said. i always knew barbara was the most beloved woman in the world and, in fact, i used to tease her that i had a complex about that fact. but the truth is the outpouring of love and friendship being directed at the enforcer, president bush's words, is lifting us all up. we know life will go on, as she would have it. but, president bush says, so cross the bushes off your worry list. barbara bush. thank the president and the yield of the floor.