DES MOINES, Iowa -- George H. W. Bush may have only been President for one term from 1989-1993, the Iowans who got to know him best throughout his family’s years in politics say his presidency was significant because of the way he led.
“George was a very smart, kind, respectful person and Iowans got to know them as people,” David Oman, Former Iowa GOP Co-Chair, said. “They saw and felt those traits and I think that meant a lot more to people than a position or two on any issue.
David Oman served as the Republican party's state co-chair when then-Vice President George H. W. Bush campaigned for President in Iowa in 1988. He says George and Barbara took time to get to know Iowans.
“They were who they are and wherever they went. Those same skills and those same traits I believe were present within George Bush when he was President of the United States,” Oman said.
David Kochel worked on son Jeb Bush`s 2016 Presidential campaign as a senior strategist, and he cherished the times he got to spend with Jeb's father.
“He was a very selfless man. The things I remember about him were those things. The personal character he brought to the office,” Kochel said. “In interviews you’d ask him about his presidency he would talk about his mistakes and his failings using the I pronoun. He would say ‘I made this mistake’ ‘I made that mistake.’ and when he’d talk about successes, and he had many successes, he would use the we pronoun. He was very generous.”
For Connie Schmett, reminiscing about the former President takes her back to her first caucus, campaigning for “Bush 41.”
“The first time that I met him or saw him, his laid back demeanor, his connection with the people, his caring for the people and for our country, and his credentials,” Schmett said. “That was something warm about him that drew me to him.”
All three Iowans agree his death serves as a time for this country to reflect on the kind of service he brought to the nation.
“For a time now where politics are so vicious, you`d like to think more people could emulate the kind of character of a George Bush,” Oman said.
Oman also says one of his fondest memories was a handwritten thank you note he received from the also late Barbara Bush. Another example of the sincerity shown by the couple.