On Wednesday, Dec. 5, while people across the country paid their final respects to George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, local leaders were doing so as well.
Former Guilford County Commissioner Linda Shaw said she thought the world of the former president and his family and she added that her thoughts are very much with the Bush family right now.
In 2004, the younger President Bush – George W. – sent Shaw a handwritten letter thanking her for her help on his campaign.
“I received the nicest note from him,” Shaw said of the man who spoke eloquently about the life of his father at the funeral on Wednesday.
When Shaw’s son Kyle passed away, the younger Bush sent her another letter.
Shaw got to know the Bush family well through her work with the Republican National Committee (RNC) nearly two decades ago. Many people might not know that Shaw was the one running the Republican convention when George W. got the nomination in 2000. Shaw conducted the roll call at that convention in Philadelphia and she was standing on stage with Bush after he won the nomination.
“I was the only officer of the Republican National Committee who endorsed him and he had me be the secretary of the convention,” Shaw said.
She said the entire family was one for which she had the utmost respect. She said father and son alike had a great sense of humor and were wonderful human beings.
Shaw maintains a friendship with George W. Bush’s former Senior Advisor Karl Rove, and once, years ago, former Guilford County Commissioner Mike Winstead and former Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins almost fell out of their chairs when they were discussing a local political matter with Shaw, wondering what the Bush administration thought about it, and Shaw said, “I’ll ask Karl,” texted Rove and got an immediate answer.
On Wednesday, while President George H.W. Bush’s funeral service was being broadcast, Summerfield Mayor Gail Dunham sent out a press release in his honor. In 1988, Dunham worked on his campaign and served as one of seven volunteers in Illinois for the Bush Rapid Response Network. Each time there was a new political ad on TV, that group would help assess how voters were reacting.
Summerfield’s government has been torn to pieces this year by discord on the Town Council and Dunham said this was a time for local political leaders to learn a lesson from the life of the late President Bush and attempt to work together. She cited ways in which Bush worked with former President Bill Clinton toward common goals.
“People today should learn from this example as Bush and Clinton were able to put aside political differences and continued to work for the common good in many ways, for many years, to serve the People,” the Summerfield mayor wrote in her press release.
State Rep. Jon Hardister posted on Facebook that “George H.W. Bush is the first U.S. President who I can remember vividly as a child.”
Hardister cited the fact that Bush wrote a letter of support following his loss to Clinton in the 1992 election in which he told Clinton, “Your success is our country’s success. I am rooting for you.”
Hardister wrote that this is indicative of a man who placed the good of his country above partisan politics.
Hardister also stated that not long ago he read the book 41: A Portrait of My Father, by George W. Bush,” and said he highly recommends the book. He called Bush’s resume “impeccable,” noting his heroism and political even-handedness.
A lot of local Democrats were also saying kind words on social media about the late President Bush on Wednesday, but some conservatives would have none of it.
Republican State Rep. John Blust wrote in a post, “Funny to hear liberals say good things about him. They sure didn’t in 1988 and 1992. They mocked him and talked about the ‘wimp factor.’ The lies told about the economy in 1992 helped lead to his defeat. Now they claim to like him.”