Tributes were coming from all quarters and both sides of the political spectrum Saturday (Dec. 1) following the death of President George H.W. Bush at age 94. First Lady Barbara Bush died last April.
Media watchers will recall that President Bush vetoed campaign spending limit legislation in 1992 and the 1992 Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, though the latter, which created the retransmission consent-must-carry regime, was overridden, the only one of his 44 vetoes that did not hold up..
"Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service—to be, in his words, 'a thousand points of light' illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world," said President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
The President also put out a proclamation marking the death.
"His years in Congress, as a diplomat, CIA Director and Vice President of the United States were characterized by modesty, integrity, and patriotism," said Vice President Mike Pence, a former member of Congress himself and talk radio host. "His years as the 41st President of the United States left America and the world more peaceful, prosperous and secure."
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai tweeted:
"Broadcasters across America bend the knee today, in mourning, at the news of President George H. W. Bush’s passing. It has long been said that greatness is revealed in service to others," said Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters and a former senator from Oregon. "By that standard, President Bush was truly great."
"In every chapter of his life, in war and in peace, in places high and low, George H.W. Bush could be found heroically serving others, with competence, goodness, grace and decency," said Smith. "As one who knew this man, I join all broadcasters in expressing gratitude for the life of this American servant, President George H. W. Bush. Godspeed 41!"
"Over his long life and distinguished career, President Bush was a leader who placed the long-term interests of America over everything else, a patriot whose duty and service were a way of life, and a soft-spoken family man who showed us what it meant to be a loving husband and father," said American Cable Association President Matt Polka. "America has lost a hero, but the example set by President Bush will endure."
“President George H.W. Bush was a towering figure of kindness and dignity, the kind of which we may never see again," said House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.). "First as a naval airman and later as an elected official, respected statesman, and leader of the free world, President Bush lived his love for our country with grace and humility. President Bush leaves behind an indelible legacy of patriotism and public service, and his memory will inspire us to continue working together to form the more perfect union that remains always just over the horizon."
“President Bush loved his country and his family and was fiercely dedicated to both," said Sen. Ed Markey (D--Mass.). "He committed his life to public service and ushered the United States through the end of the Cold War and beyond a world of global nuclear threat. He was a member of the Greatest Generation, and fought for our country with courage and conviction. As servicemember, legislator, diplomat, and executive, President Bush answered the call of duty every day of his life, and the nation will forever be grateful for his service, patriotism, and integrity. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, whom he loved so very much.”
"George H. W. Bush once pledged that he would, 'keep America moving forward, always forward—for a better America, for an endless enduring dream and a thousand points of light,'" said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who ran for President himself against Donald Trump. "President Bush wasn’t just one of those points of light himself, he was among the brightest of them."
“I first met George Bush when he was being sworn in as Director of Central Intelligence by President Ford, in 1976, and I had the honor of writing the President’s speech," said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of America's Public Television Stations. "From that day to this, I have admired President Bush not only for the good grace and civility for which he is being appropriately praised, but also for the extraordinary skill he brought to the world’s most important office at the world’s most sensitive time.
“He didn’t simply preside over the end of the Cold War; he brought it to a successful, peaceful conclusion, realizing his vision of ‘a Europe whole and free.’ And he didn’t simply win a hundred-hour war with Iraq; he built an extraordinary coalition of international partners to join in the effort and then built a historic framework peace in the Middle East with those partners in Madrid.
"We have lost a true statesman, a man for the ages who was just right for his time. America and the world were fortunate to have him, and we will always cherish his memory.”
"To say he will be missed is an understatement so let us just say that we will miss our friend," said the Oak Ridge Boys--the President was a country music fan. "We have laughed together, shared tears together, fished together, hiked together, shared a lot of lobster together, and sang together. Yes… he fancied himself to be quite the bass singer. We loved George Bush #41."
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.