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Sold-Out Crowd Gives Former President Bush Three Standing Ovations During Speech

By EMILY GUEVARA(www.tylerpaper.com)

Former President George W. Bush pulled back the curtain of the Oval Office and gave East Texans a picture of what his job was like during the high and low points.

With trademark humor and conviction, he said he sought to lead with vision and optimism and to leave the office equal to or better than it was when he arrived.

“Here's what you learn,” he said. “You realize you're not it. You're a part of something bigger than yourself.”

WELCOME: The audience applauds George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States, at the Joseph and Louise H. Ornelas Distinguished Lecture Series at The University of Texas at Tyler’s Cowan Center on Tuesday night. — Staff Photo By Herb Nygren Jr.

Bush spoke Tuesday before a sold-out crowd of 2,000 people during the 76th lecture as part of The University of Texas at Tyler's Distinguished Lecture Series.

He walked on the stage to a standing ovation. People in the audience were pumping their fists and whistling. One audience member shouted, “Bring back Bush,” at one point during the presentation.

He would receive at least two more standing ovations before the end of his speech.

The former president thanked East Texans for their role in electing him to office both as governor and president.

He also touted his book “Decision Points” which is set to be released in November.

“This will come as a shock to some people in our country who didn't think I could read a book, much less write one,” he quipped.

Bush said he misses certain aspects of the presidency.

“I miss being pampered; I miss Air Force 1; I miss being commander in chief of an awesome group of (people),” he said.

But one thing he doesn't miss is the limelight.

Bush said during his first days out of office, he took his dog Barney on a walk around his new neighborhood in Dallas. He hadn't been on a walk in a neighborhood for almost a decade, he said, and it was a liberating feeling.

The experience also was new to Barney too who saw a neighbor's yard and took the opportunity to relieve himself.

“Ten days out of the presidency, there I was with a plastic bag in my hand, picking up that which I had been dodging for eight years,” he said to many laughs.

Bush said it has been his faith, family and friends that have sustained him throughout his time in public office.

He talked about how his relationship with his father, former President George H.W. Bush, is one of love and respect. He said his father never criticized him during his presidency. In fact, he said, he often had to encourage his father who grew frustrated with what he saw as mass media critical of his son.

Bush shared about the principles that formed the foundation for much of his foreign and domestic policies.

He said he believes there is a God and one of the gifts of that God is for everyone to know freedom.

It is in part because of this belief that he stayed the course in Iraq and believes that country is a better place because of the fall of Saddam Hussein. But the battle continues, he said.

“I believe this country is engaged in an ideological struggle of a kind we have never seen before,” he said.

He said it was amazing to him that in the aftermath of Sept. 11, the Japanese Prime Minister called to express his willingness to work with the U.S. to enhance security. This came from a country that 60 years before was this nation's enemy.

“I firmly believe the same thing is going to happen in the Middle East,” he said.

During several points in his speech, he addressed the decisions he made in his life and jokingly said he was subconsciously touting his book, which is to be released next month.

“It's not a judgmental book,” he said. “It's not a Bush is cool (book).”

Bush said he sat in the White House with his economic advisors Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke three weeks into the economic downturn.

He said Bernanke told him, “If you don't do something significant, you're likely to see a depression greater than the Great Depression.”

“Depression, no depression,” Bush said. “It wasn't that hard for me, just so you know. I made the decision to use your money to prevent the collapse from happening.”

Bush talked about the influence that President Abraham Lincoln had on his presidency. He said he made a point to watch little television and instead to read quite often.

He read 12 biographies about Lincoln during his time in office.

“It's interesting to be making history and reading history,” he said. “I think he's the country's greatest president.”

He said Lincoln was a man of vision, a man who wanted to see a unified country. He also was a man of principle, who said all men are created equal under God, Bush said.

Bush, who pointed out that he does not compare himself to Lincoln, said he did try to emulate him in the way he treated soldiers. He called it a “paramount” duty to meet with the loved ones of troops who die in service.

He talked about one man, who after his relative had died in war, asked to receive a waiver so he could serve in his country despite his older age.

“Instead of letting the grief overwhelm him, this man stood to serve our country,” Bush said. “We are blessed with people like that.”

UT Tyler President Rodney H. Mabry called Bush the “most determined, principled, compassionate and successful” president this country has had.

Mabry presented Bush with a UT Tyler Patriots baseball jersey with his name and the No. 43 on the back as a gift of appreciation. He also said the university raised more than $200,000 for scholarships through a dinner that preceded the lecture.

The lecture and a dinner that preceded it were presented through the donations of numerous community members including Joseph and Louise Ornelas, Harold and Rosemary Beaird, Herb and Melvina Buie, Bill and Billie Hartley and the A.W. Riter Jr. Family Foundation, among others.
Click to view image: 'Sold-Out Crowd Gives Former President Bush Three S'


Added: Oct-20-2010 Occurred On: Oct-20-2010
By: gmccuiston
In:
Iraq, Other
Tags: Former President Bush, The University of Texas
Views: 8380 | Comments: 55 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • History will look fondly on his presidency.

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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    • Comment of user 'panzerkilla' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • The economic issues, and the terrorist attack, was a situation created under Clinton. And, Iraq has been won for a while.

      Hateful people said all the same things about Lincoln.

      Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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    • Comment of user 'panzerkilla' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • There are no circumstances for Iraq or Afghanistan that you won't declare to be failures.

      And it wasn't Bush who ignored attack after attack after attack without responding. It was Clinton. And the fact that we weren't attacked more after 9/11 completely shoots down that empty nonsense about Bush not be effective against terrorist attacks.

      You blame the economy on Bush for all the same empty baseless reasons.

      Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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    • Comment of user 'panzerkilla' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • And don't forget...It's Bush's Fault for Obambo's fuk ups.

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • The douchebag you're arguing with...Stonepony. It's a waste of time. I leave this place for about a year, come back and he's STILL on here arguing about the same shit. He must be a very lonely and bored fella.

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • He's an incredibly simple minded man, but has good character.

    If he knew better, I think he would have tried to stop our raping by the banks and China.

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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    • He did,!9 times, it was put forward by Rove,McCain,and the admin,that freddie and fannie were top heavy and about to crash.Dodd and Schumer,with Bawney Fwanks poo pooed the idea.Then dodd and fwanks pushed for more liberal loans for the downtrodden masses.What a shame,that those who were most responsible for the crash(Dodd and Franks )should still be in power.Cant wait for nov2.

      Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • This would make a lot of sense if he was addressing an Alzheimer's sufferers convention.

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • Sorry, blabby when I get rolling (I type fast so it becomes an encyclopedia really quickly).

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • "Because reality for you is defined by whatever you it to be defined as"

    When you suggest that we simply haven't been seriously attacked subsequently, only because they haven't needed to attack us, then I don't know what else to think. It's just not true.

    Also, if you could define victory in Iraq and Afghanistan for me, then I might change my mind re my comment about your selective perception.

    Been interesting anyway panzer.

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • Is it because you have nothing to contribute eltrut? Seems like an interesting conversation, but you chime in with nonsense and derail it. My guess is because something more substantial is totally beyond you.

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • Why is this fucker still not in prison or shot?

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • the Onion never ceases to poke at people

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • P.S. Clinton did what liberals do, what Obama would like to do if he could get away with it politically. Treat terrorism as a policing issue, and pretend that Islamic terrorism has got nothing at all to do with Islam. It's the same reason that Obama refuses to even allow the implication that Islamic-terrorism exists. They're not even "terrorist" attacks anymore, they're "man-caused disasters". It's not a "War on terror", it's an "overseas contingency operation& More..

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • this is east texas....

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • Bush has already spend all his under-table monies? And has to start making money from speeches again?

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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  • Wao sold crowd of Teabaggers I do believe that.

    Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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    • ...and Obummer can't even fill the Rossevelt at 50-100 bucks a ticket. Has to get people to stage a faint in order to show how "concerned" he is for the common man. Like him or not, Bush was many things during his time in office but fake was never one of them.

      Posted Oct-21-2010 By 

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