By Stewart F. House/.
“You’re not gonna believe how tonight’s events will lift your spirits about the future of this country,” George W. Bush said during a talk with Bill Clinton, given for the 60 members of the 2017 class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program on Thursday night. Bush might have been referring to the promising young leaders sitting before him at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. But he might as well have been making reference to his enduring and encouraging friendship with Clinton, which was on full display. In between serious discussion of their post-presidential lives, the two grandfathers—and, oh yes, ex-presidents—ribbed each other and reminded the world of perhaps the last healthy, bipartisan friendship of the Trump era.
“My almost-three-year-old granddaughter sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her father at his party,” Clinton said, referring to daughter Chelsea’s daughter, Charlotte,, who will turn three in October.
Bush had a comeback right away: “Can your granddaughter sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in Mandarin? Mine can.”
Clinton came back swinging: “No, but she can in Spanish.”
The good-hearted competition didn’t stop there. Bush revealed that his two grandchildren, Mila and Poppy (named for the Bush twins’ nickname for George H.W. Bush, call him “Jefe.” This is, as Peoplenoted in March, short for “El Jefe,” Spanish for “the boss.”
In turn, Clinton pointed out that he has taken a more modest route: “I’m more humble; I’m called Pop-Pop.” He also didn’t hesitate to remind Bush that he was the one who once informed him that the grandfather is at the “bottom of the totem pole” and the “least important person in the family.”
“It’s true,” Bush, a.k.a. “El Jefe,” said, nodding.
Though Bush admitted to campaigning against many things the Clinton administration stood for, he now calls Clinton “a brother from another mother.” In 2015, Bush and Clinton worked together to establish the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program, the leadership initiative for whose members the two spoke on Thursday. Bush also added at the event on Thursday that Clinton, who has partnered with George H.W. Bush on several projects over the years, spends more time at his family’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine, than he does.
With these two presidents accounted for, lets check in on some of the others. Up in Canada, 92-year-old Jimmy Carter is returning to work on a Habitat for Humanity project even after collapsing due to dehydration the day before. Our current president, meanwhile, is busy paying uncomfortably close attention to the French First Lady’s workout regimen..
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