george h.w bush

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Her Majesty with 12 U.S. Presidents: Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. 🇬🇧🇺🇸

From August 1985 to October 1986, the US illegally sold weapons to Iran, including 2500 anti-tank missiles, 18 anti-aircraft weapons, and additional parts and materials, in exchange for the release of 7 hostages, and money to support the terrorist group trying to overthrow the government in Nicaragua.

After the weapon sales were revealed in a Lebanese magazine in November 1986, President Ronald Reagan appeared on national television and stated that while the weapons transfers had indeed occurred, but that the United States did not trade arms for hostages.

In March 1987, Reagan again went to TV to announce “A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.”

14 members of Reagan’s cabinet were indicted for criminal activities, with 11 convicted.  All convictions were either overturned or pardoned by President George H.W. Bush (who had been Vice President during the time the crimes were committed).

In the Presidential race of 1968, Richard Nixon defeated Vice President Herbert Humphrey, who had stepped forward to run when LBJ shocked the country by declining to seek reelection. Nixon carried thirty-two states and more than three hundred electoral votes. He took the oath of office on January 20, 1969. An hour later, LBJ departed the nation’s capital, where he had been a fixture since his election to Congress in 1937. He left with few friends.

Out of both respect and sympathy, Dad decided to go to Andrews Air Force Base to see off the former President. Amid the large crowd, a few other Congressmen showed up, including LBJ’s longtime friend Jake Pickle, but Dad was the only Republican. When Lady Bird Johnson’s press secretary, Liz Carpenter, noticed Dad standing in the crowd, she pointed him out to the outgoing President. LBJ walked over, shook his hand, and said, “George, I’m grateful that you’re here. Come visit me and Lady Bird at the ranch sometime.”

A few months later, Dad accepted the offer. LBJ drove him around the sprawling grounds of his ranch in Johnson City, Texas. At lunch, Dad asked him a question: Should he leave his safe seat in the House to run for the Senate against Ralph Yarborough in 1970? The former President, who had served in both the Senate and the House, replied in classic LBJ style.

“George,” he drawled, “the difference between the Senate and the House is the difference between chicken salad and chicken shit.”

— 

George W. Bush, writing about the relationship between his father, then-Congressman George H.W. Bush (R-TX), and the outgoing President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, in 41: A Portrait of My Father (BOOK | KINDLE).

It doesn’t matter how many times I hear the story about LBJ’s advice to George H.W. Bush about the difference between the House of Representatives and the Senate – it never loses its luster.