No, not 43. 41: Dubya's dad, George Herbert Walker.
And why is that?
The more I look back on the elder Bush – Bush 41 – the more I find things to admire and the more I see attributes we need in our next president.
The NYT's Thomas L. Friedman said in The Apparent Heir he saw many things to like about Bush the Elder: He was conciliatory, a uniter and had the wisdom to break a promise about raising taxes.
On foreign policy, the elder Bush maintained a healthy balance between realism and idealism, unilateralism and multilateralism, American strength and American diplomacy. He believed that international institutions like the U.N. could be force multipliers of U.S. power. Rather than rubbing Mikhail Gorbachev's nose in the dirt, the elder Bush treated him with respect, and in doing so helped to orchestrate the collapse of the Soviet Union, the liberation of Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany without the firing of a single shot. The nonviolent unraveling of the Soviet Empire ushered in a decade of prosperity and an era of unprecedented American power and popularity. …
So his instincts were good, his mechanics were often flawless, but his words and music left you frustrated. Still, the legacy is a substantial one. Over time, historians will treat the elder Bush with respect.
So as we approach this critical election of 2004, my advice, dear readers, is this: Vote for the candidate who embodies the ethos of George H. W. Bush – the old guy.
He coyly added: I'm sure you know who that is.