George W. Bush not endorsing in presidential primary is no mystery

The media are beside themselves trying to figure out why former President George W. Bush has not endorsed in the current Republican presidential contest. Everywhere you look, there’s some variation of the question wondering why he isn’t front and center. One example of the ink spent on the story is this one from Politico that asks, “Where is George W. Bush?” and accuses him of being on a “self-imposed exile” from the current political season.

After Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush, endorsed Mitt Romney for president last week, the feeding frenzy picked up with many of the mainstream media outlets wondering whether W would endorse and why he hadn’t already endorsed and explaining the reasons why that made him the proverbial elephant in the room.

The plain and simple answer is that George W. Bush is doing nothing any different now than he has done since leaving the White House in 2009. He has made it a point to keep a low profile in his private life and not interfere in policies or make comments about the current president or issues. It’s the way of the Bush family. It’s called diplomacy, something missing with many in the MSM.

Friends with the Romney family for years, the Bush family has ties that have encouraged former President George H.W. Bush and his son, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, to endorse Republican front runner Mitt Romney. Former First Lady Barbara Bush has even made Get Out The Vote calls for Governor Romney.

George W. Bush, meanwhile, is simply continuing his policy of not interjecting himself in politics. Interesting that the MSM are able to put so many words in his mouth during his silence.

Typical of GWB, he is not letting the press live rent-free in his head as he goes about his life. It has been three years since the Bushes left Washington and during that time he has found plenty to keep him busy. He wrote a #1 national best seller book, “Decision Points,” that stayed at the top of the charts for weeks, selling two million copies in the first month and outpacing books written by former President Bill Clinton and others.

He has been busy in Dallas with the Bush Center, the Bush Library, and the Bush Institute, traveling the country and the world on behalf of human freedom, global health, education, economic freedom, and AIDs research in Africa, something he began while President. In 2008, he received the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Award for his work in Africa, and in December 2011 he and Mrs. Bush traveled to Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Zambia in their continued commitment to the people.

Indeed, not many are aware of Bush’s humanitarian work in other parts of the world — most certainly the MSM doesn’t give credit. However, in the summer of 2011, Bono of the rock group U-2 praised Bush for his fight against AIDs in Africa, a stand that has saved over five million lives during the past eight years. In addition, human rights activist John Prendegast noted that it was during Bush’s administration and with the help of America’s influence that South Sudan was able to successfully obtain peace with the north.

Democratic consultant and Fox News contributor Bob Beckel, co-host on Fox News Channel’s “The Five,” recently praised Bush’s African work and picked him as one of his two all-time favorite presidents.

On the home front, most of the time the former president has spent with America’s military members is unknown to the public, greeting solders at airports when they return home from service overseas, reaching out to individual families, and working with the Wounded Warrior Project that surrounds him with injured military veterans.

A 2011 Fox News video report by Bret Baier about the Wounded Warrior 100K bike ride in the back country of Texas showed the real George W. Bush, comfortable with everyday Americans and revealing the one thing he misses as president is being Commander in Chief of the military. The connection between him and the troops is real as he shows respect and admiration for them and they, in return, show respect and admiration for him.

In addition, Bush has spoken to numerous groups around the country, helped raise money for a number of charitable causes, and, in 2010, he and former President Bill Clinton set up a relief fund for the victims of Haiti’s earthquake.

Most of all, he is able to enjoy time in private with family and on the ranch. From Politico:

… Bush has never had the political neediness of Clinton, and is not spurred on by what [former Bush White House spokesman Ari] Fleischer dubbed “the roar of the crowd.”

“So much of it is voluntary,” Fleischer said about Bush’s isolation. “I think President Bush is happy to be enjoying his private life. I don’t think he craves or misses life on the stump.”

Indeed, while many in the Republican Party may be eager to turn the page on Bush, former aides to the 43rd president say that’s a two-way phenomenon: Bush, too, has happily moved on from politics as a profession.

The ability to voluntarily step back from the limelight is the sign of a leader and a truly secure individual. George W. Bush obviously is comfortable with his life and feels no need to entertain the MSM by doing what they want.  As a result, he will continue writing the script of his own life, and it may or may not include an endorsement of Mitt Romney. One thing is for sure: The final decision will, ultimately, be his.

Cross-posted at

  • Nathan Miller

    Nice spin to downplay the fact the GWB is still pretty toxic. An endorsement by him would only harm Romney’s slim chances of overtaking Obama in Nov.

    I do think history will be kinder to GWB than one might expect at this point.

  • Jim Wilson

    George W.Bush kept us safe after Clinton allowed Bin Laden to openly plan a attack on the USA.Thank you President Bush.

  • Excellent piece, Lynn! Thanks for providing an honest and insightful perspective on the full range of W’s personality and life.

  • Tim J

    Obama and the left have been actively making Bush a pariah and the default excuse for everything wrong ever since they took control. George W. has conducted himself with selfless dignity and grace for a man who has been blamed for so much by those who continue to remain blameless. His example reminds me of another who was also blamed but suffered and died for the wrongs of all mankind as we move into this Easter season.

  • MD Russ

    Nathan Miller,

    I seem to remember that Al Gore considered Bill Clinton to be pretty toxic in 2000 and declined to have him campaign for Gore-Lieberman. If he had accepted Clinton’s endorsement, Gore might have carried Arkansas, making the liberal canard that Gore won Florida a moot point.

  • It would suit me just fine if I never heard another word from the man who “abandoned free market principles to save the free market system” among other misdeeds.

  • Tim J

    Vern, I’ll bet that George Bush never threatened the Supreme Court… or had his “Green Energy” businesses go belly up like fish in a toxic aquarium… or ever had unemployment, gas prices and taxes for corporations this high for so long. Obama squandering the money Congress granted to him as his “inheritance” (stimulus) is like a lottery winner using EZ-PICK to buy lottery tickets with all the winnings on the chance that they will get another winner… and then blames Bush for not winning. If he was eligible, I would vote for Bush again over Obama because at least he can verbally articulate the words “free market” in front of an open microphone.

  • I said nothing about Obama and frankly if the choice was only Bush and Obama I would stay home. But, while you are making the comparison, Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill that has a $7 trillion unfunded liability; he signed both TARP and HERA which bailed out the banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; he got us into two unfunded wars and was the epitome of “borrow and spend.” Those are feats that Obama will not fully eclipse even if he wins which seems likely now.

  • Tim J

    Vern, Bush racked up original sins, but it is all about blame… and continuing to do more of what didn’t work, expecting a different result, and then blame the predecessor. I disagree on Obama’s “feats”… he has taken his “inheritance” and made it much worse in addition to piling on his own. There is a beginning and an end to an eclipse, and we are moving from an “eclipse” to oblivion.

  • Any Republican worth his or her salt knows the American public thinks he did great damage to our nation. They can say what they say about President Obama. Thats the nature of politics. What is thought about ex-president Bush is fact and history.

  • Anne Morrison

    I am a Democrat, but I have to say that I respect the fact that President Bush (GWB) has kept to his word about saying nothing. It shows an amount of restraint from which both sides could learn. He wasn’t my choice, but he was still my president and I defended him when I served in the military, I was once asked if I would have taken a bullet for him and people were surprised when I said “That’s my duty. Of course.” It’s more than lip service. Don’t call me a patriot- I was doing my job and I signed up for it. 25 years of it. We’re all Americans first. Please remember that.

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