Chelsea Clinton Recalls the First Time She Met George H.W. Bush: 'I Remember His Kindness'
Chelsea Clinton shared an adorable photo of herself meeting President George H.W. Bush for the first time on Monday, and reflected on some good advice he once shared in the wake of his death last week.
“Loved finding this photo over the weekend of my first time meeting President George H.W. Bush. I remember his kindness toward me and my parents gently point out he was both kind & good enough to direct me to the restroom! I’m very grateful for the friendship our families share,” wrote Chelsea, 38, whose father is former President Bill Clinton and mother, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Bush died Friday at 10:10 p.m., his spokesperson confirmed. He was 94.
“George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings,” the former president’s office said in a statement.
Years after the photo Chelsea shared was taken, Clinton defeated Bush in the 1992 presidential race. Despite the heartbreaking loss, Bush penned a gracious letter to his predecessor welcoming him to the White House, a note that’s now gone viral.
“Dear Bill,” the letter begins. “When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too. I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.”
Offering up a piece of advice, Bush continued: “There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.”
Without making any mention of their different politics, the Republican wished his Democratic successor the best of luck.
“You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you,” Clinton wrote at the time.
Chelsea’s dad and President Bush would go on to form a lasting, close friendship.
“No relationship is quite like the bond between George H.W. Bush and the man who defeated him in 1992,” the authors Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy wrote in the The Presidents Club , reported The Atlantic. “Bush would go so far as to suggest more than once that he might be the father that Clinton had always lacked — a notion that the younger man did not dispute.”