Vintage George W. Bush Stumps for Gillespie, Entertains Republican Donors

Former President George W. Bush. 
It doesn’t get better in my political playbook than to spend a Monday with the former Commander-in-Chief, the wartime president who led this country through the dark days of 9/11, and who took the barbs and criticism of friend and foe alike with grace and humility. Gracious beyond expectations, he is a stark reminder of men of character and class in leadership. There is a reason I call myself a George W. Bush Republican.

The President was in Richmond Monday as the guest of honor at a lunch for almost 1,000 Republicans who noshed on salad, chicken, and mashed potatoes while listening to the GOP nominees. Stumping for his old friend, the President was there to support the Republican ticket. Here are photos of the day, a bit grainy since I was using my iPhone (wasn’t sure if my better camera would pass through security).

John Adams for Attorney General, Jill Vogel for Lieutenant Governor, President George W. Bush, Ed Gillespie for Governor, Cathy Gillespie

It was vintage George W. Bush with his soft Texas accent, stories of the years working with Ed Gillespie whom he had nicknamed “Eddie G” (his list of nicknames is legendary), and cracked up the room with humorous anecdotes of family or White House years.

George W. Bush

Ed Gillespie

Jill Vogel

John Adams. A native of Chesterfield County, his comfort on the campaign trail after a year-and-a-half was shown when he shared a humorous story of his years at Midlothian High School playing football. Joking about his famous name, he recalled a game when he received a pass from a fellow player to run down the field, and heard the sportscaster announce, “Thomas Jefferson just passed to John Adams.” Fast forward to three weeks ago when a campaign staffer told him, “I just received the strangest phone call from a guy named Thomas Jefferson who said he played football with you in high school, and he wished you luck in your election.”

Cole Trower. His roots are in Virginia Beach but he graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg so his reach is across the Commonwealth. Currently he is working Delegate Glenn Davis’ reelection campaign.

Kay Coles James. As emcee, she announced to a laughing crowd, “Go ahead and begin your lunch because it should come as a surprise to no one in this crowd that the President is running early.” George W. Bush, a stickler for not keeping people waiting. She is comfortable behind a microphone and in front of 1,000 Republicans so she was right at home making the trains run on time, so to speak. And she’s Bush #41 and 43 alumni.


Marshall Street and the Richmond Convention Center.

My George W. Bush pin from 2000 before he was known to the world. Gathered petitions, worked the primary, attended the 2000 RNC convention in Philly, ran local headquarters, and worked the campaign to get this good man elected president. The rest is history.

Marie Quinn and Chris Saxman

Chris. He was my delegate, the first elected into the newly created 20th House District in 2001.

Delegate Glenn Davis





Delegate Glenn Davis, Judi Lynch, Nancy Dye

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
October 16, 2017

  • ameri…canwork

    Bird Flu, where?

    We have to make sure that everyone who has a job wants one.

  • pfbatt

    This is why Ed will lose. People are tired of the elite and Ed and this gang are the swamp and anti swampers will not vote for him. They will stay home.

  • old_redneck

    Why are you ingnoring GWBush’s other speech? You know — the speech today in which he ripped Donald Trump a new asshole, without even mentioning Trump’s name!!

    Here are excerpts from Bush’s destruction of Trump.

    — quote

    We are gathered in the cause of liberty this is a unique moment. The
    great democracies face new and serious threats – yet seem to be losing
    confidence in their own calling and competence. Economic,
    political and national security challenges proliferate, and they are
    made worse by the tendency to turn inward. The health of the democratic
    spirit itself is at issue. And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand.

    Since World War II, America has encouraged and benefited from
    the global advance of free markets, from the strength of democratic
    alliances, and from the advance of free societies. At one level, this has been a raw calculation of interest. The 20th century
    featured some of the worst horrors of history because dictators
    committed them. Free nations are less likely to threaten and fight each

    And free trade helped make America into a global economic power.

    For more than 70 years, the presidents of both parties believed that
    American security and prosperity were directly tied to the success of
    freedom in the world. And they knew that the success depended, in large
    part, on U.S. leadership. This mission came naturally, because it
    expressed the DNA of American idealism.

    We know, deep down, that repression is not the wave of the future. We
    know that the desire for freedom is not confined to, or owned by, any
    culture; it is the inborn hope of our humanity. We know that free
    governments are the only way to ensure that the strong are just and the
    weak are valued. And we know that when we lose sight of our
    ideals, it is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those
    charged with preserving and protecting democracy.

    This is not to underestimate the historical obstacles to the
    development of democratic institutions and a democratic culture. Such
    problems nearly destroyed our country – and that should encourage a
    spirit of humility and a patience with others. Freedom is not
    merely a political menu option, or a foreign policy fad; it should be
    the defining commitment of our country, and the hope of the world.

    That appeal is proved not just by the content of people’s hopes, but a
    noteworthy hypocrisy: No democracy pretends to be a tyranny. Most
    tyrannies pretend they are democracies. Democracy remains the definition of political legitimacy. That has not changed, and that will not change.

    Yet for years, challenges have been gathering to the principles we hold dear. And, we must take them seriously.
    Some of these problems are external and obvious. Here in New York City,
    you know the threat of terrorism all too well. It is being fought even
    now on distant frontiers and in the hidden world of intelligence and
    surveillance. There is the frightening, evolving threat of nuclear
    proliferation and outlaw regimes. And there is an aggressive challenge
    by Russia and China to the norms and rules of the global order –
    proposed revisions that always seem to involve less respect for the
    rights of free nations and less freedom for the individual.

    These matters would be difficult under any circumstances. They are further complicated by a trend in Western countries away from global engagement and democratic confidence.
    Parts of Europe have developed an identity crisis. We have seen
    insolvency, economic stagnation, youth unemployment, anger about
    immigration, resurgent ethno-nationalism, and deep questions about the
    meaning and durability of the European Union.

    America is not immune from these trends. In recent
    decades, public confidence in our institutions has declined. Our
    governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and
    pressing needs. The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach
    for some who feel left behind in a changing economy. Discontent
    deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.

    There are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy
    itself has waned, especially among the young, who never experienced the
    galvanizing moral clarity of the Cold War, or never focused on the ruin
    of entire nations by socialist central planning. Some have called this
    “democratic deconsolidation.” Really, it seems to be a combination of
    weariness, frayed tempers, and forgetfulness.

    We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty.
    At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger
    than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into
    animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too
    often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging
    ourselves by our best intentions – forgetting the image of God we should
    see in each other.

    We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism – forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America.
    We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and
    international trade – forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty
    follow in the wake of protectionism.

    We have seen the return of isolationist sentiments –
    forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos
    and despair of distant places, where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge.

    In all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity.
    Americans have a great advantage: To renew our country, we only need to
    remember our values.

    This is part of the reason we meet here today. How do we begin to encourage a new, 21st century
    American consensus on behalf of democratic freedom and free markets?
    That’s the question I posed to scholars at the Bush Institute. That is
    what Pete Wehner and Tom Melia, who are with us today, have answered
    with “The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World,” a Call to Action

    The recommendations come in broad categories. Here they are: First,
    America must harden its own defenses. Our country must show resolve and
    resilience in the face of external attacks on our democracy. And that
    begins with confronting a new era of cyber threats.

    America is experiencing the sustained attempt by a hostile
    power to feed and exploit our country’s divisions. According to our
    intelligence services, the Russian government has made a project of
    turning Americans against each other. This effort is broad,
    systematic and stealthy, it’s conducted across a range of social media
    platforms. Ultimately, this assault won’t succeed. But foreign
    aggressions – including cyber-attacks, disinformation and financial
    influence – should not be downplayed or tolerated. This is a clear case
    where the strength of our democracy begins at home. We must secure our electoral infrastructure and protect our electoral system from subversion.

    The second category of recommendations concerns the projection of American leadership – maintaining America’s role in sustaining and defending an international order rooted in freedom and free markets.

    Our security and prosperity are only found in wise, sustained, global
    engagement: In the cultivation of new markets for American goods. In
    the confrontation of security challenges before they fully materialize
    and arrive on our shores. In the fostering of global health and
    development as alternatives to suffering and resentment. In the
    attraction of talent, energy and enterprise from all over the world. In
    serving as a shining hope for refugees and a voice for dissidents, human
    rights defenders, and the oppressed.

    We should not be blind to the economic and social
    dislocations caused by globalization. People are hurting. They are
    angry. And, they are frustrated. We must hear them and help them. But we
    can’t wish globalization away, any more than we could wish
    away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution. One
    strength of free societies is their ability to adapt to economic and
    social disruptions.

    And that should be our goal: to prepare American workers for new
    opportunities, to care in practical, empowering ways for those who may
    feel left behind. The first step should be to enact policies that
    encourage robust economic growth by unlocking the potential of the
    private sector, and for unleashing the creativity and compassion of this

    A third focus of this document is strengthening democratic
    citizenship. And here we must put particular emphasis on the values and
    views of the young.

    Our identity as a nation – unlike many other nations – is not
    determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Being an
    American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility.
    We become the heirs of Thomas Jefferson by accepting the ideal of human
    dignity found in the Declaration of Independence. We become the heirs
    of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S.
    Constitution. We become the heirs of Martin Luther King, Jr., by
    recognizing one another not by the color of their skin, but by the
    content of their character.

    This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity
    can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white
    supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed. (Applause.)

    And it means that the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation.

    We need a renewed emphasis on civic learning in schools. And our young people need positive role models.
    Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone,
    provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral
    education of children. The only way to pass along civic values is to
    first live up to them.

    Finally, the Call to Action calls on the major institutions of our
    democracy, public and private, to consciously and urgently attend to the
    problem of declining trust.

    For example, our democracy needs a media that is transparent,
    accurate and fair. Our democracy needs religious institutions that
    demonstrate integrity and champion civil discourse. Our democracy needs
    institutions of higher learning that are examples of truth and free

    In short, it is time for American institutions to step up and provide cultural and moral leadership for this nation.

    Ten years ago, I attended a Conference on Democracy and Security in
    Prague. The goal was to put human rights and human freedom at the center
    of our relationships with repressive governments. The Prague Charter,
    signed by champions of liberty Vaclav Havel, Natan Sharansky, Jose Maria
    Aznar, called for the isolation and ostracism of regimes that suppress
    peaceful opponents by threats or violence.

    Little did we know that, a decade later, a crisis of confidence would
    be developing within the core democracies, making the message of
    freedom more inhibited and wavering. Little did we know that repressive
    governments would be undertaking a major effort to encourage division in
    western societies and to undermine the legitimacy of elections.

    Repressive rivals, along with skeptics here at home, misunderstand
    something important. It is the great advantage of free societies that we
    creatively adapt to challenges, without the direction of some central
    authority. Self-correction is the secret strength of freedom. We are a
    nation with a history of resilience and a genius for renewal.

    Right now, one of our worst national problems is a deficit of
    confidence. But the cause of freedom justifies all our faith and effort.
    It still inspires men and women in the darkest corners of the world,
    and it will inspire a rising generation. The American spirit does not
    say, “We shall manage,” or “We shall make the best of it.” It says, “We
    shall overcome.” And that is exactly what we will do, with the help of
    God and one another.

    — end quote

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