tv George W. Bush Portrait Unveiling CSPAN June 3, 2012 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT
the white house. through the portrait of our presidents and first ladies, it is a wonderful tradition that here, in america's house, we honor those who have honored us. the tradition began with the acquisition of george washington's portrait in 1800. it was purchased by the united states government and viewed as such an important national trevor that it was the object of the white house historical association has commissioned a portrait of every president and first lady and acquired historical portraits of those previously missing from the white house collection. in our digital world, where so many images are mere flashes on a screen comedies enduring portraits of great american's by acclaimed artists are lasting tribute to our presidents and first ladies and will forever be part of the white house collection. today, the portraits of george
w. bush, and first lady laura bush will be added to this unique collection of those who have occupied this house and served our nation with distinction. to those great presidential portrait artists whose works here include gilbert stuart, john singer sargent and karen schechter, we now add john howard sand and. prompt one ofmay those great debates that has often taken place in the white house -- strong arguments are to be made on both sides. not a debate over issues between parties, a debate as to whether the portrait actually looks like the president and first lady. [laughter] we will soon find that out. is my distinct pleasure to introduce the president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you very much.
everybody have a seat. good afternoon, thank you for that introduction. to president george h. w. bush and barbara, all members of the bush family who are here, it is a great privilege to have you here today. to president and mrs. bush, welcome back to the house you call home for eight years. the white house is many things at once. it is a working office, it is a living museum, it is an enduring symbol of our democracy. but at the end of the day, when the visitors go home and the lights go down, a few of us are blessed with a tremendous honor to actually live here. it's fair to say that every president is acutely aware that we're just a temporary residence. we are renters here. we are charged with the upkeep until our lease runs out.
but we also leave a piece of ourselves in this place. today, with the unveiling of the portraits next to me, president and mrs. bush will take their place alongside the men and women who built this country and those who worked to perfect it. it has been said that nobody can ever understand what it's like being president until they sit behind that desk and feel the weight and a responsibility for the first time. and that is true. after three and half years in office and much more gray hair, i have a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the presidents who came before me, including my immediate predecessor, president bush. in this job, the decision that reaches your desk is easy. no choice you make is without cost. no matter how hard you try, you are not going to make everybody happy. that is something president bush and i both learned very quickly.
that's why from time to time, those of us who have had the privilege to hold this office find ourselves turning to the only people on earth who knows the feeling. we may have our differences politically, but the presidency transcends those differences. we all love this country. we all want america to succeed. we all believe when it comes to moving this country forward, we have an obligation to put together. we all follow the humble, heroic example of our first president, at george washington, who knew that a true test of patriotism is the willingness to freely and graciously passed the reins of power on to somebody else. that has certainly been true of president bush. the months before i took the oath of office or a chaotic time. we knew our economy was in trouble. our fellow americans were in pain. but we would not know until later just how breathtaking the financial crisis had been.
still, over those two and a half months, in the midst of that crisis, president bush, his cabinet, his staff, many of you are here today went out of your ways, george, you went out of your way, to make sure the transition to a new administration was as seamless as possible. president bush understood rescuing our economy was not just a democratic or republican issue. it was an american priority. i will always be grateful for that. the same is true for our national security. none of us will ever forget where we were on that terrible september day when our country was attacked. all of us will always remember the image of president bush standing on a pile of rubble, bullhorn in hand, conveying extraordinary strength and resolve to the american people, but also representing the
strength and resolve of the american people. last year, when we deliver justice to osama bin laden, i made clear our success was due to many people in many orchestrations working together over many years across two administrations. that's why my first call, when american forces were safely out of harm's way, was to president bush, because protecting our country is neither the work of one person nor the task of one time, it is an ongoing obligation we all share. finally, and that -- on a personal note, michele and i are grateful to the entire bush finally for their guidance and examples during our own transition. george, i will always remember the gathering you hosted for the living former presidents before i took office and your kind words of encouragement. plus, you also left me a really good tv sports package. [laughter]
i use it. [laughter] laura, you remind us of the most rewarding thing about living in this house isn't the title or the power but the chance to shine a spotlight on issues that matter most. the fact that you and george raised too smart, beautiful daughters, first as girls visiting their grandparents and and as a teenager is preparing to head out into the world, that gives michelle and i tremendous hope as we try to do the right thing with our own daughters in this slightly odd atmosphere we have created. jenna and barabara, we will never forget your advice -- you said surround yourself with loyal friends, never stop doing what you love, slide down banisters occasionally, to play
sardines on the yard, meet new people, try new things and try to absorb everything and enjoy all of it. i can tell you that our daughters took that advice to heart. really meant a lot to them. one of the greatest strength of our democracy is our ability to peacefully and routinely go through transitions of power. it speaks to the fact we have always had leaders who believe in america and everything it stands for above all else. leaders and their family who are willing to devote their lives to the country love. this is what we will think about every time we pass these portraits, just as millions of other visitors will do in the decades and centuries to come. i want to thank the artist behind these beautiful works for his efforts. on behalf of the american people, i want to thank most sincerely president and mrs. bush for their extraordinary
>> thank you. sit down. sit down. behavior cells. mr. president, thank you prayer hospitality, first lady, thank you very much for inviting our rowdy friends. to my hanging. laura and i are honored to be here, thank you for coming. we are overwhelmed by your hospitality and thank you for feeding the bush family, all 14 members of this year. i want to thank our girls for coming, thanked mom and dad, brother, sister, in-laws, and and uncles. i appreciate you taking your time. i know you are excited as laura
and me to come back here and particularly think the people who helped make this house a home for us for eight years, the white house staff. i want to thank fred ryan and the white house historical association and the white house curator. i am pleased my portrait brings an interesting cemetery to the white house collection. it now starts and ends with a george w. [laughter] [applause] when the british burned the white house in 1814, and dolly madison saved this portrait of first george w. if anything happens there is your man. [laughter] [applause]
i want to thank john howard for agreeing to use his considerable talents to paint my likeness. you have done a fine job with a challenging subjects. in the portrait there is a painting called "a charge to keep" that hung in the oval office for the eight years of my presidency. it reminds me of the wonderful people with whom i was privileged to serve. these men and women, many of whom who are here worked hard and served with honor. we had a charge to keep. it is my privilege to introduce the great as first lady ever,
it was really gracious of you to invite us back to the white house to hang a few family pictures. i am sure you know nothing makes a house a home than its former occupants staring down from the walls. [laughter] this is not the first time i have had the opportunity to confront an artistic likeness of myself. a few years ago after the 2008 election, a friend sent me something he found in the gift shop of the national constitutional center in philadelphia. it was a laura bush bobblehead doll he said he found on the clearance shell. i am grateful to know that this work as a permanent home and things to be masterful talent of john howard sandon.
you are terrific to work with. -- john howard sanden. you are terrific to work with. [applause] it is wonderful to know that these portraits will be on view at the white house and walking down the hall from my mother in law and that george's portrait will hang very close to his dad's. it is meaningful to me as a citizen. this is my family's home for eight years. it was our home but not our house. this house belongs to the people whose portraits will never hang there, the ordinary
people whose lives inspired us and his expectations guided us during the years we lived here. in this room are many of the people who stood by us as we face the tragedy of september 11 and to work with us in the years after. thank you to each and everyone of you for your service to our country. [applause] i hope others will see what i see, a woman he was honored and humbled to live in the white house during a time of great challenge and to will never forget the countless american faces who make up the true portrait of that time. thanks so much. thank you, michele.
[applause] >> i do not think we have enough tissue to go round. jenna and barbara are a mess. i want to thank you for joining us today. i would like to take this opportunity to thank laura for providing such a wonderful model of strength and grace for me to follow as first lady. it is an interesting job.
it has been amazing to learn from your example not just as a first lady but as a mother of two wonderful daughters. you are on the other side of where we hope to be in a couple of years, two daughters who sit up straight and cry and think lovingly of their mother and dad. we are working toward that gold. we cannot be more thankful for the warmth and graciousness that both of you showed our family. it is truly a privilege for us to occupy this house. the warmth is reflected in these portraits.
i promise you, i am going straight for it. i am sure it will be closer down the stairs. i will get right down to it. i am thrilled for the visitors who will have the chance to enjoy it. i am thrilled for both of you as you join these incredible americans whose portraits are already displayed here at the white house. congratulations again. congratulations on the work you have done in the example of what it means to be an american family. we are so happy and proud and honored to be a part. it is my pleasure to invite you all to join us for a reception right outside in the state room. now it is time to eat.
barack on broadway. >> this weekend, the united kingdom celebrates the 60th anniversary of the queen's ascension to the throne. the ceremony took place in march and included it speeches by the members of the house of lords and house of commons. that's at 9:00 eastern on c- span. >> sunday -- >> with walter cronkite, people see him only as the avuncular, family man, which he was to everybody. but there's another side of him it wanted to be the best. he was obsessed with ratings and beating the brinkley report every night. he's proud of the fiercest competitor i've ever written about. and i've written about presidents and generals. cronkite's desire to be the best
was very pronounced. >> douglas brinkley on his new biography of longtime cbs anchor, walter cronkite. that's tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. >> on friday, fla. -- former florida governor, jeb bush said he supported the efforts to rescue the financial industry in 2008 but was not in favor of the obama's administration's aid to auto companies. in his testimony, he rejected the grover norquist pledge which called on lawmakers to oppose all tax increases. the hearing addresses role in the economy and includes testimony from henry waxman. this is about two and half hours. >> the meeting will come to order. welcome to the house committee hearing on the growing cronyism in washington and the barriers to upward mobility.
americans still live in the most prosperous and dynamic entry in the world. our free enterprise system has lifted millions from the grips of poverty. it has increasingly -- it is increasingly challenged by washington post the misguided policies. both parties have pursue deficit driven spending aimed at favored companies, tax credits for the well-connected, and barriers that stack the deck against the average citizen. success is too often determined not by the quality of service that a business provides but by the relationship with those in power in washington. both parties share in the blame. both must work together to advance solutions to get us back on track. we passed a budget in the house that strengthens the safety net for those that needed and eliminates corporate welfare for those who do not need it. it insures a level playing
field for all to prosper. the president's policy texas in the wrong direction. he calls for greater complexity and the tax code. he insists on regulatory monstrosities that protect the entrenched at the expense of the entrepreneur were. we have seen the results of this in europe. massive spending, high taxes, and corporate favoritism has burdened the continent with the economy is unable to grow. today's hearing is an effort to explore how we can get reforms consistent with our principles and match the magnitude of today pose a challenge. we must restore america's exceptional promise insuring all americans -- america's exceptional promise insuring all americans can chase their dreams. i want to thank our witnesses
for joining us. we have a former governor jeb bush of florida. thank you for traveling with us today. he had been an outspoken advocate to make sure the least of us have the opportunity to rise. we also have chris edwards. chris has been a long time advocate for a simpler tax code and his insightful criticism of the favoritism that now pervades washington spending and the tax code. then we will be joined by henry waxman. he knows we're starting at 9:00. he will show up hopefully by the time our opening statements and the two witnesses are done. henry is the ranking member of the energy and commerce committee. he is the minority's witness today. when the two gentlemen are
done, hopefully he will be there by then. i would like to rink to the the -- at like to go to the ranking member. >> let me start from a place we all agree. we all love america. we all believe america is a unique and special place. we all believe in american exceptional is done. the question is, how do we keep america strong, dynamic, and exceptional? on that we have different views and would make different choices. we believe our strength comes not only from the undisputed benefits of a free people pursuing their dreams but also from sometimes harnessing those talents for important national purposes. we believe america's rate as results from not only a collection of individuals acting alone for private profit but from oap