Former President George H. W. Bush is receiving an award from the European Parliament
The award ceremony is stateside at Texas A&M University
His son George W. Bush will unveil his biography of his father on Tuesday
The events come amid speculation that Bush's son Jeb will run for president
Despite being out of office for more than two decades, former President George H.W. Bush has been a regular feature in political news this year – receiving awards for volunteer work or jumping out of planes to celebrate his birthday – and this week he kicks up his schedule right as his last name is again buzzing with presidential speculation.
Bush 41 will receive a prestigious award for his work as his presidential center observes the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a major milestone which occurred during his presidency.
He then will appear with his son, former President George W. Bush, in a public event as he unveils a biography he has written about his dad – an occurrence which is sure to draw a lot of public attention on both of them, their relationship and the Bush presidencies.
On Monday the European Parliament awarded the elder Bush the Robert Schuman Medal, which recognizes public figures who have advanced the cause of peace, the construction of Europe and human values. He is the first American to receive the honor.
“Throughout his long career in public service President Bush was always mindful of human rights and the need to advance the cause of peace in the world,” said former Ambassador Ryan Crocker, dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. That is where the presentation occurred during a conference commemorating the wall’s fall and will include key officials from Bush’s administration – his national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker.
On Tuesday, Bush and his wife Barbara will be on hand at a very different type of event.
Their son will unveil the biography he wrote “41: A Portrait of My Father,” which is described as a personal look his father through his own eyes. Bush 41, a prolific letter writer, never wrote an autobiography but did release copies of many notes he penned throughout his life to family, friends and colleagues giving the public a glimpse of his personal thoughts and impressions of his life and career.
In his new book George W. Bush not only discusses the professional highlights of his dad but also his influence on his own life – growing up in Texas, recounting early campaign trips with him, his decision to go into politics then following in his footsteps into the White House and the decision to go to war in Iraq – a country which dominated both Bush presidencies.
Now the elder Bush just saw a new generation of his family enter government service. His grandson George P. Bush won statewide office in Texas capturing the politically powerful position of Land Commissioner in a landslide and is looked at as a rising star in the Republican Party.
Bush 41 now waits to see whether his son former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will run for the White House as he has urged him to do – although other members of the family have not embraced a possible third President Bush as enthusiastically.
“Forty one believes strongly that Jeb would be a superb president and very much hopes he will run. Mrs. Bush also knows - and has stated several times - that Jeb would be a superb leader in the Oval Office, but what mother wants to see their son or daughter attacked and pounded the way she saw it happen to her husband and eldest son? As John McCain often says, presidential politics ‘ain’t bean bag,’” Bush 41 spokesman Jim McGrath told CNN.
The elder Bush also has kept his hand in politics this campaign year endorsing several successful Republican candidates, including Georgia Senator Elect David Perdue.
In an interview with NPR Bush 43 talks about one moment – the 1992 speech accepting the Republican Party’s presidential nomination – when Bush 41 did not meet his son’s expectations.
“I was very disappointed, not in him, but in the process. And he gave - he did give a flat speech [at the 1992 Republican National Convention] and it frankly wasn’t full of many interesting ideas. It was kind of defensive. And there’s a couple of lessons there about this moment. One is - is that if you’re gonna give a big speech, get it written early and get used to it,” George H. W. Bush told NPR. “Get comfortable with it because it enhances the delivery. And secondly, that if you expect to win political races, you better have strong policy platform. And they were playing - they were kind of playing small ball at this point, and presidents have got to have bigger agendas.”