Barbara Bush Tells Son George W. His Father Was Best President - Rolling Stone
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Barbara Bush Tells Son George W. His Father Was Best President

Watch the former First Lady break the playful bad news to her son

Once a First Lady, always a First Lady: Barbara Bush’s son may be a former president, but when it comes to choosing the greatest American Commander-in-Chief, she’s casting her vote for her husband, George H. W. “He was certainly the best president ever,” Barbara states in a recent clip filmed for The Today Show, after granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager asks about the elder president’s legacy. “He may tell your father that.”

A Brief History of Presidential Profanity: George W. Bush

Instead of taking offense, George W. endorses his mother’s selection – though he does squeeze in a playful cheap-shot: “I agree with that,” he says, “but I think you’re the second-best First Lady.” This leads to a discussion of Barbara’s true ranking among the great First Ladies (“Maybe third,” she says, behind “Lady Bird” Johnson); George W. then says he considers his mother “right up there with Martha Washington,” to which Babrara responds, “I look like her.”

On Wednesday morning, TODAY published “5 Things I’ve Learned From My Gampy,” a piece written by Jenna honoring her 90-year-old grandfather. Within, she discusses the “pursuit of happiness,” putting “family first,” aging gracefully, the importance of service and “finding a good partner.” 

“Last year, my grandfather was very sick and hospitalized,” Laura writes. “I was pregnant. When we arrived at the hospital, he touched my stomach and whispered, ‘The circle of life. I can’t wait to meet this baby.’ I did what I promised myself I wouldn’t do: broke down crying. I thought to myself: There is no way he will meet my Mila. But, you know who knew he would? My Ganny. She is known as the ‘enforcer’ in our family — and when she speaks, we listen. She told him about everything he had to look forward to — and said he had no choice but to live.”

Back in April, George W. Bush kickstarted his post-presidential painting career by unveiling the “Art of Leadership” exhibit (featuring portraits of various world leaders, like Tony Blair) at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. 

In This Article: George W. Bush


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