WASHINGTON – Facing the nation for the first time as its president, George H.W. Bush vowed to lead with humility, moral principle and a spirit of unity.
Nearly three decades later, Bush’s leadership approach stands in sharp contrast with that of President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican whose brand is defined by material success, unrestrained aggression toward his rivals and disdain for traditional coalitions at home and abroad.
Their presidencies separated by a single generation, the nation’s 41st and 45th presidents shared little in personality or worldview. And beyond personality, the conflicting presidencies underscore just how little remains today of the Grand Old Party that Bush once led.
One of Bush’s former senior aides, Ron Kaufman, says Bush’s death marks “the end of a culture — a culture of civility.”