On Friday night, word spread about the death of the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush. The Republican president was elected in 1988, but he lost his reelection campaign to Democrat Bill Clinton, who was his son George W. Bush's age when he took office. The two struck up an unlikely friendship despite their differences, and Clinton paid tribute to him through a public statement and an op-ed on the Washington Post.
In an emotional op-ed for Washington Post, he details what he appreciated about his former rival so much. "From Indonesia to Houston, from the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast to Kennebunkport—where just a few months ago we shared our last visit, as he was surrounded by his family but clearly missing Barbara — I cherished every opportunity I had to learn and laugh with him. I just loved him," he explains.
He goes on to mention how people were surprised that they managed to hit it off as friends. "To the end, we knew we would never agree on everything, and we agreed that was okay," Clinton writes. The op-ed includes a letter George left for him in the White House, exemplifying how unexpectedly warm his welcome was.
"He was an honorable, gracious and decent man who believed in the United States, our Constitution, our institutions and our shared future," Clinton adds. "And he believed in his duty to defend and strengthen them, in victory and defeat. He also had a natural humanity, always hoping with all his heart that others’ journeys would include some of the joy that his family, his service and his adventures gave him."
Read the full op-ed here.