Skip to comments.George and Ted's detente; War views aside, former president hails Kennedy for public service
Posted on 11/07/2003 6:50:23 PM PST by Brian S
George and Ted's detente War views aside, former president hails Kennedy for public service
08:34 PM CST on Friday, November 7, 2003
By ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News
COLLEGE STATION, Texas Former President George Bush and U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy tiptoed around the subject of the war in Iraq on which they disagree strongly during an improbable political cease-fire and love feast in Aggieland Friday night.
The occasion was the awarding of the third annual George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service to Mr. Kennedy, D-Mass.
As he introduced Mr. Kennedy to an audience of 2,500 people at Rudder Auditorium, the elder Bush joked about criticisms the senator had hurled his way, including a few made on the eve of the first Persian Gulf War in early 1991. As he spoke, Mr. Kennedy stood up from his chair and pretended he was leaving the stage the crowd loved it.
However, Mr. Bush grew somber as he briefly referred to Mr. Kennedy's Sept. 18 accusation that his son, the incumbent president, was "bribing" other nations to commit troops and other resources to help rebuild war-torn Iraq.
"As a father, let me say attacks upset me a great deal more today than they did when I was myself in the crosshairs," he said. "It hurts more when it's your kid."
But the former president said "tough criticism goes with the territory."
He recalled that he had "lobbed more than my fair share of attacks at the senator. ... When you want to fire up a Republican crowd, give them a little red meat, you know. Nothing works quite like jumping on Ted Kennedy."
A few people booed when Mr. Kennedy was introduced. One man heckled him as he began his lecture, shouting, "You're hurting America."
But the senator ignored him and plunged into his 30-minute address, fully a third of which was devoted to praising the Bush family for public service.
Mr. Kennedy appeared to charm the crowd with several self-deprecating jokes about how unpopular he is in Texas.
On a more serious note, he said Americans should tolerate dissenting views about how to conduct the war on terror both from fellow citizens and other nations.
"Vigorous public debate is the only path to progress and the surest route to reconciling the differences that divide us," Mr. Kennedy said.
The war on terror is still in its infancy, he said.
"A new world order is still being born. We did not have all the answers at the start of the Cold War, either. ... Those successful policies emerged from a state of profound confusion."
Mr. Bush, who personally selected the senator for the award, said he was a worthy political adversary who in 41 years in the Senate "has waged a purposeful battle to improve the human condition."
"There were times when we were at each other's political throats," Mr. Bush recalled. "But at the end of the day, we are Americans who love our country and want the very best for it."
Mr. Kennedy responded, "on the fundamental values that unite us as Americans, Houston and Boston are not so far apart."
Several young people held "Viva Kennedy" placards outside the auditorium. About 50 people, including a man dressed up to look like the senator, staged a protest of his campus appearance. It was organized by the A&M chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas.
Before his lecture, Mr. Kennedy toured the Bush Presidential Library with his wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, and her parents; some of his children; his niece Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg and her husband; three of his sisters, former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy, Pat Lawford and Eunice Shriver; and his sister-in-law, Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert Kennedy.
Former first lady Barbara Bush, who had chided Mr. Kennedy a few days ago for speaking out "rather indiscriminately" about her son's handling of Iraq, joined her husband in welcoming him to the library.
The elder Bushes were the only members of their family to attend the events honoring Mr. Kennedy.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser to former Presidents Bush and Gerald Ford, read the award's citation at a dinner attended by about 225 people.
The citation said Mr. Kennedy, 71, "has earned widespread respect from political friend and foe alike as a tenacious and eloquent voice for furthering his beliefs."
It singled out for praise, however, only two of the Democrat's pet projects "his work to encourage more young Americans to enter public service" and his collaboration with the elder Bush in passing the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Previous recipients of the award were former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Mr. Kennedy will return to Texas on Dec. 12 appearing before a more like-minded audience: He will be the keynote speaker for the Texas Civil Rights Project's annual banquet in Austin.
Sometimes, often times,lately, the question What the hell are they thinking? comes to mind.
Folks tend to shy away from Manichean type politicians, who are perceived as demonizing opponents. That was one of Clinton's secrets of success. He had the light touch.
Oh yes, its been "most effective" with the Kennedy Klan...indeed.
Spare us the drivel, should you be so kind.
Portion of Weedon Loop to close for bridge repairs
Eagle staff report
A portion of Weedon Loop will be closed to through traffic starting Monday because of construction, the Brazos County Road and Bridge Department has announced.
The section under construction will be a bridge structure located about 1.5 miles from the intersection of Weedon Loop and Hardy Weedon Road.
County workers will be replacing the bridge decking.
It does with me as well. Not too long ago I saw some ceremony honoring Ronald Reagan. Lott and Kennedy each spoke of him, with Nancy in the audience. Lott came across as stiff and emotionless. Kennedy, on the other hand, told several stories about Reagan and did so with the kind of affection that made you smile.
I don't like Kennedy at all, but I don't forget that night when he spoke of Reagan. It showed me a different side.
But 32% of Americans are registered as Democrats. 31% of us are registered as Republicans. The rest of our voters fall all over the spectrum.
Needless to say, if our appeal was limited to merely that 31% of our fellow like-minded right-wingers, we wouldn't be winning very many elections (and it would be puppets of the Clintons running the entire War on Terror show worldwide right now).
The Bush's have class, style, and political savvy, on the other hand. They have extended at least the 2nd olive branch to the Kennedy's (undeniably a powerful political family). One olive branch was the Education Bill. This civic award is the 2nd such goodwill gesture, and just as I approved of President Reagan extending a goodwill gesture to Gorbachav during the Cold war, so too do I applaud this passing of the peace pipe.
And I can afford to be magnanimous. Sans the lies and spin of the left-wing news media, our ideas, principles, and policies will clearly triumph over the Left whenever there is a level playing field.
So I welcome civilized debate rather than the treasonous rabble found in the latest Senate Intelligence Committee memo. If we can swing Ben Nelson, Ted Kennedy, Braux, and other such Senators to condemn out-of-bounds attacks and tricks (and somehow achieve a more level playing field), then I have full faith that our ideas will win in fair, open, and honest debate (something that the Left clearly fears as indicated by their zest to mischaracterize the Iraq War, our economy, forest fire policy, etc.).
And that's what today was. This was an olive branch. It was a gesture aimed at achieving civil discourse in the future, rather than resorting to civil war in the present.
Your mileage may vary, and no doubt does. I stand by my point of view on this one however.
We won't win elections by awarding the worst trash in the country good housekeeping seals of approval and thereby telling the people they should vote for them.
The first sing of class and stature is to avoid contact with, and recognition of, trash and degeneracy. The American people would greatly benefit from that model. If Bush had any class he wouldn't even appear on the same stage with the Kennedys.
Please, Freepers... help me with this uncertainty:
Is"PUKE" the correct exclamation in this absurd case ???
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