Talk:George H. W. Bush

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Former good articleGeorge H. W. Bush was one of the Social sciences and society good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
May 19, 2008Good article nomineeListed
December 22, 2016Good article reassessmentDelisted
In the newsA news item involving this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "In the news" column on December 1, 2018.
Current status: Delisted good article

Removing Tarpley book from Further Reading section[edit]

I am removing this book from the Further Reading section:

* {{Cite book |last=Tarpley |first=Webster G.| authorlink = |author2=Chaitkin, Anton |title=George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography |origyear=1991|year=2004 |publisher=Executive Intelligence Review |location=Washington |isbn=0-930852-92-3}}

I do not think it merits inclusion; Any contrary opinions, let's discuss. KConWiki (talk) 05:46, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

Parkinson's and anti-parkinsonian medication[edit]

Please discuss this here to avoid a pointless edit war. Specifically, the allegations with the women were during the time he was affected by Parkinson's. At least one incident was before his continued use of a wheelchair. I think that could be where another user got the impression the incidents which were apologized for happened before his having Parkinson's.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 06:46, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

His vascular version is caused by a series of small strokes rather than a degeneration of the brain cells. They are not usually treated with the same medications. May need to confirm if on any medication that potentially causes impulse control problems. (talk) 09:02, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
The earliest of these incidents took place in the early 2000s. You can't blame his meds for things he did before he was taking them.Posters5 (talk)
I found an article: The l-dopa response in vascular parkinsonism It says that L-Dopa is the only medication, but it doesn't always work. Still, even if he was on no medication at all, vascular parkinsonism still has "diffuse white matter lesions and/or strategic subcortical infarcts in the MRI of the brain"
This page lists symptoms. It says that impulse control is a symptom for vascular parkinsonism, though it is more frequent in a different kind of parkinsonism. Other symptoms of vascular parkinsonism, cognitive impairment, including executive function, verbal memory and language.
On this basis I am going to re-add the sentence, but with a caveat about medication. We don't know if he was even on medication. It seems that it sometimes doesn't work for the vascular version.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 16:25, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
That's even worse because now you are indulging in idle speculation. 1) You were not his personal physician, and if you were, you shouldn't be editing this page at all. 2) You don't know when the disease started to affect him, so you can't just "explain" his behavior by attributing it to Parkinson's. 3) This is in dispute and still being discussed, so stop re-adding disputed content.Posters5 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:47, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
The content I recently added was substantially revised. I will revise it again and see if that is good enough. I think you are making personal inferences that were not in the edit.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 05:24, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
No, you're the one making unfounded inferences.Posters5 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:09, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

Politician, Statesman, Diplomat?[edit]

I know calling someone a "statesman" is often seen as biased, but GHWB had so much experience in many fields (diplomacy, intelligence, national politics) that it seems to me he was more than solely a politician. I know there was a discussion like this after McCain died, which concluded to keep "politician" as the primary descriptor, but I think it is fairly accepted that GHWB was, per M-W Dictionary: 1 : one versed in the principles or art of government especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies. 2 : a wise, skillful, and respected political leader. PerhapsXarb (talk) 23:58, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

"a wise, skillful, and respected political leader" Who respects him (or respected him)? His perceived mishandling of the Early 1990s recession in the United States, a constant rise in unemployement, and the subsequent jobless recovery had left Bush with a particularly poor reputation. Dimadick (talk) 08:29, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
Alas, who respected Truman when he left? Nearly nobody, yet today he is widely respected. GHW Bush is generally seen as a decent, middle-tier president, next to JQ Adams and WH Taft in aggregate rankings (Historical rankings of presidents of the United States). The respect is less important than the experience, though, since Bush had so many diplomatic and intelligence related positions as well as political ones. "Statesman" tends more to be used to refer to people involved in numerous high-ranking positions, including on an international level, e.g. Arthur Goldberg and Charles Evans Hughes in the US. Admittedly, it is usually used in a context of those people having lived some time ago, but this is more a constructed part of the word's definition and not an actual prerequisite of any sort. PerhapsXarb (talk) 03:01, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

Further Reading[edit]

I just suggest for your bibliography/reading list near the end of the article: Borucki, Wesley B. (2011). Italic text George H.W. Bush: In Defense of Principle.' Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 978-1611221336. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drvannostrum (talkcontribs) 12:54, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Izno (talk) 15:56, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

Single term presidents[edit]

Introduction: "He was also one of two former presidents to have served only a single term in office as president, the other being Jimmy Carter." What about the other presidents who only served a single term? Ford, Hoover, Taft Kennedy — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:569:F931:3600:92C:DF16:1A82:744C (talk) 13:21, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

They are not still alive, and the sentence seems to cover only those living. Dimadick (talk) 16:58, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

I removed that line. The IP is correct, as it read as though Bush & Carter were the only one-term former US presidents. Remember every former US president was alive at one time. GoodDay (talk) 18:27, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
...except Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. (talk) 00:05, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Replaced it with something more accurate - "Bush's death leaves Carter as the only living former one-term American president". GoodDay (talk) 18:35, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
That was my addition, and I missed an important word. It was supposed to say "At the time of his death, Bush was one of two living presidents to have served one term, the other being Jimmy Carter." I missed the word "living", hence where the problem was: Bush and Carter,as noted above, were not the only one term presidents. TomStar81 (Talk) 00:52, 2 December 2018 (UTC)

George H.W. Bush's rank while serving (USN)[edit]

Hi, I'm currently serving in the US Navy and noticed a discrepancy in George H.W. Bush's information page. He is listed as being a Lieutenant Junior Grade, which is an O-2 in the USN, but the page also lists him as an O-3, which is a Lieutenant. I don't personally know which rank he actually was, due to him serving and being a distinguished pilot/ aviator for 3ish years in the USN at wartime, I would guess he was probably an O-3. If someone could please rectify this that would be great, thanks.

SN Jolls, Jordan T. USN165.166.160.118 (talk) 20:03, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

Copyright issue?[edit]

In the George H. W. Bush#World War II section, a paragraph or two seems to have been copied, with minor changes, from (from source [4])
One example - Text in article:

  • Bush waited for four hours in an inflated raft, while several fighters circled protectively overhead, until he was rescued by the submarine USS Finback, on lifeguard duty

Text in source:

  • While Bush anxiously waited four hours in his inflated raft, several fighters circled protectively overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine, USS Finback

There are a other sentences copied with minor changes. I think this should this be rewritten. 2606:6000:CB87:F400:ADF7:D24C:3DAF:6857 (talk) 20:59, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

Spin off the post-presidency section[edit]

Given Bush's long post-presidency I think it would make sense to create a spinoff article of that part of his career. This would allow for Wikipedia to cover his post-presidency in detail, while having a more concise summary on his main bio page. We have such articles for Ford, Carter, and Clinton. It would probably be a mistake to make major edits to this article right now (given the high level of interest/editing), but perhaps this could be done next month or so. Thoughts/interest? Orser67 (talk) 22:47, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

I don't see the post-presidency section as that long in an article that is shorter already than most recent presidents. If content was added to other sections of this article pertaining to earlier periods of his life, which I attempted to do before the deletionists came around, I would be more open to the possibility. - Informant16 December 2, 2018

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990[edit]

Bush signed the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, which was the single greatest legislative advance for clean air in America. The 1990 CAA required control of industrial toxic emissions, which are defined in the 1990 CAA as one of the 188 chemicals that are suspected or known to be cancer-causing. This was the first time that the federal government regulated air pollution by focusing not only on reducing ambient concentrations of the six CAA criteria pollutants (e.g., lead, ozone, particulate matter, etc.) but instead by focusing on reducing of the number of tons of toxics emitted by pollution sources. For 'major sources' (those emitting more than 10 tons of any one toxic or 25 tons of a combination of toxics), they all had to install the latest and greatest controls to reducing emissions, under a program known as Maximum Achievable Control Technology. This was a sea-change in the nature of federal regulation of air pollutants in America, and the direct result of the 1990 CAA amendments has been much cleaner air throughout America over the last 25 years. George H W Bush was therefore the greatest pro-clean air environmentalist in American history.

2601:1C2:280:325C:1122:7984:D320:5BB8 (talk) 23:12, 1 December 2018 (UTC) Conde T. Cox Portland OR~

1) Language isn't neutral. 2) Presidents don't actually draft legislation (Congress does). 3) I'm pretty sure many environmentalists feel that Bush fell short with regards to achieving better air quality.Posters5 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:17, 2 December 2018 (UTC)

Protected edit request: Sexual misconduct allegations section and Parkinson's[edit]

In the Sexual misconduct allegations section, please remove references to parkinson's and drug medication. Those two sentences are original research by people trying to white knight for Bush. The referenced citations are about parkinson's in general and not about the disease's specific impact on him as an individual.Posters5 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:07, 2 December 2018 (UTC)

Also please see discussion above.Posters5 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:09, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
 Done, per WP:SYNTH. --Pipetricker (talk) 14:10, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you!Posters5 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:10, 2 December 2018 (UTC)

Someone PLEASE block Epiphyllumlover from editing this page!!! He continues to vandalize it.Posters5 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:10, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

Posters5, Epiphyllumlover's edits are not vandalism. --Pipetricker (talk) 12:09, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

I removed the stuff again, again per WP:SYNTH, but left the newly added mention of it being noted by the Washington Post writer (even though that wasn't the point of her blog post, and surely she wasn't the only commentator mentioning Bush's behaviour being connected by some to Parkinson/dementia?). --Pipetricker (talk) 10:34, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

Pipetricker, I understand your last edit as justifiable especially in terms of readability. However, in my defense the content of my edits fall under:WP:What_SYNTH_is_not#SYNTH_is_not_unpublishably_unoriginal
It occurred to me that there are distinctive Kantian vs. Hegelian forms of WP:SYNTH, both on Wikipedia and in real life. This is problematic because epistemological differences tend to be ingrained. Change happens slowly over years, if at all. Someone used to defining synthesis in terms of Kant's Analytic–synthetic distinction will not label things the same as someone using the Thesis, antithesis, synthesis triad. For the most part, this should not be a problem because math and hard science articles are going to be edited mostly by editors with the former distinction, while politics, pop-culture, history, and art will be dominated by editors with the latter distinction.
If you haven't figured it out already, I see myself as using the Analytic–synthetic distinction (in a practical sense), while Posters5 would be more along the lines of the triad. The solution to this problem would be to integrate C. West Churchman's inquiring systems approach to clarify when each definition of synthesis should apply. The different angles discussed on the WP:What_SYNTH_is_not page go down this path halfway already. But since it is only Wikipedia I doubt it is necessary to solve the problem.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 00:59, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
I disagree that SYNTH is not unpublishably unoriginal applies to this. The facts regarding Bush's behavior being or not being a consequence of his Parkinson's or dementia are not at all common knowledge anywhere.
Facts that are common knowledge in the Parkinson and dementia medical communities were here offered in support of the thought that it's likely that Bush's behavior was a consequence of his Parkinson or dementia, a synthesis that isn't claimed by any of the sources. --Pipetricker (talk) 14:35, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
Actually, a number of media made the Parkinson/medication defense at the time. Here's USA Today: "A medical condition might explain former President George H.W. Bush’s recent behavior, according to several doctors who are familiar with the condition but not with the President’s case or care."
On the flip side, the Texas Monthly reported 8 different gropings, beginning before Bush used a wheelchair.
But what I came to check on was whether there was any mention of Jennifer Fitzgerald. Jon Meacham's biography gives two and a half pages to rumors of an affair with her and with others. YoPienso (talk) 17:17, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
Maybe something like "At the time, media reported of doctors familiar with vascular parkinsonism, which Bush had been diagnosed with, but unfamiliar with Bush’s case, speculating that the parkinsonism might explain his behavior.[1]". I think it's at least better than the current mention of the Washington Post writer. --Pipetricker (talk) 10:52, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

The article should explain the nickname "Bush 41"[edit]

> he was referred to as "George H. W. Bush", "Bush 41"

Could some one add an explanation about this nickname "Bush 41", "41" as the 41th US president. I do not have sufficient edit privileges to edit myself the code... --Wisdood (talk) 19:08, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

I am not IP but I would like to have the explanation added about the nickname Bush 41. --Wisdood (talk) 09:06, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Wisdood, I moved your comment from the edit request topic below (because that is another topic and your comment was misplaced there) to the line immediately above this one. --Pipetricker (talk) 09:31, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Wisdood, I think the first sentence of the article stating he served as the 41st president is probably enough explanation. Trying to explain the nickname more clearly seems hard to do without being too awkward. Do you have a better suggestion than this attempt?:
..., he was referred to as "George H. W. Bush", "George Bush Sr", or with his presidential ordinal number, "Bush 41".
--Pipetricker (talk) 11:35, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

Sidetrack on punctuation style[edit]

I would note that all the nicknames in this paragraph have the punctuation outside of the quotations. Per American usage, they should be inside, e.g. "Bush 41,". Since I cannot edit, I mention it here. 2601:19B:8300:2F00:F87F:B699:71D1:5646 (talk) 23:29, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

We use "logical quotation" style per WP:Manual of Style#Punctuation inside or outside. --Pipetricker (talk) 23:50, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I am an American and I was taught that punctuation goes within the quotes if it is part of the quoted material; if the punctuation is not part of the quote, the punctuation goes outside the quote. The only exception being elipses ... indicating part of the quoted material has been left out. -- Naaman Brown (talk) 16:41, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
Further information: WP:Logical quotation on Wikipedia. --Pipetricker (talk) 17:05, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 4 December 2018[edit]

George H. W.'s summer home was the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. He wrote of his memories there to Portland Magazine in 1997 after reading the article "Inventing the Campbells." The Campbells were the heirs to the Palm Beach clothing fortune and had a home in the Kennebunks. "I really enjoyed that article about the Campbells by Colin Sargent, July/August 1997). I remember Connie, Babs, and Bill—remember them well and very favorably. Connie was the glamour girl, all right. When she would flash by in that neat little Chris Craft, blonde hair flying, all us little guys, who were madly in love with her—from afar, that is—used to sigh and dream. We would hang around hoping that this the most glamorous of women would give us a ride in that flashy boat. Barbara was a wonderful girl, too. Just my age—so my friends and I were not quite as intimidated by her as we were by the slightly older Connie. Anyway, your story brought back many happy memories… President George Bush, Houston, Texas" Bagheera814 (talk) 15:49, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. DannyS712 (talk) 15:52, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 5 December 2018[edit]

ADD Honorary Degree: Wheaton College (IL), Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), 1985 (talk) 23:51, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. DannyS712 (talk) 00:19, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 6 December 2018[edit]

Add 1973 Honorary Degree from Northern Michigan University. Received honorary Doctor of Laws. See 2601:404:C67F:E6D2:E10B:AB7C:D4F7:A02F (talk) 16:55, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

 Not done for now: Because the information for this claim comes from only one source based on the original research from the author Magnaghi who gleaned it from the book he wrote titled, "A Sense of Time: The Encyclopedia of Northern Michigan University", and because this claim would be significant--in that it would be the first honorary degree received by Bush, in 1973 which predates all of the others--it is thought that a second source should be provided to be sure.  Spintendo  22:05, 7 December 2018 (UTC)

During Trump presidency[edit]

This section should probably mention that, due to his health, Bush did not attend Trumps inauguration (he and his wife were the only living first couple not in attendence). SecretName101 (talk) 02:13, 7 December 2018 (UTC)

Earlier CIA involvement[edit]

Would like to add:

Beginning in 1960 or 1961, Bush was a clandestine employee or agent of the United States Central Intelligence Agency using as cover his work in the petroleum production business. In that role, he appears to have been associated with CIA-affiliated anti-Castro Cubans who had been involved in the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.[1][2][3] When confronted with a 1963 Federal Bureau of Investigation memorandum evidencing his being a CIA operative, Bush issued a non-denial denial.[4] --NYCJosh (talk) 22:26, 9 December 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ The Nation, 4 Dec. 2018, "George H.W. Bush, Icon of the WASP Establishment—and of Brutal US Repression in the Third World"
  2. ^ The Nation, July 1988 "The Man Who Wasn't There: 'George Bush' CIA Operative"
  3. ^ A detailed discussion of Bush's family and"Skull and Bones" secret college fraternity involvement with the CIA is provided in Kevin Phillips, "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush" (New York: Penguin Books, 2004)
  4. ^ The Nation, July 1988 "RDP99-01448R000401580069-6.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3uicq7pgANlkyD-wuglqUQ2hdz1IZM1Swh2g QRofIv3n1GoriSGCddxh4 The Man Who Wasn't There: 'George Bush' CIA Operative"

Agnew resignation[edit]

I'm not going to edit this page, but I think this article now needs updating regarding the revelations days before Bush died that refer to obstruction at the time of the resignation of Spiro Agnew. [1][2][3][4][5] Roricka (talk) 05:26, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

You have basically four sources regurgitating the same podcast. I wouldn't consider Slate or MSNBC unbiased here either. Calidum 05:31, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
Really? How could any source be considered "biased" out of hand? Is it biased to say 1+1=2? If you look at the materials you'll see they are simply historical documents that have been recently discovered. There is no issue of bias here. And these are not a simple regurgitation of the same podcast. The original podcast is aural. It requires a transcript. There are documents available that would be inappropriate for the podcast. I'll admit that MSNBC wants page rank so they spread their links around. But the point here is that this is a genuine discovery, not some hack accusation. It's not the main story presented in the podcast, but a fair bit of evidence is now available, which is what the references were meant to make accessible. If it really bothers you I will reduce it all down to a single footnote. But let's get beyond that. I have a question. Is there an argument that a clear-cut case of obstruction WOULDN'T be appropriate for including in the article? Roricka (talk) 05:52, 10 December 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Rachel Maddow podcast Nov. 2018 "Bag Man"
  2. ^ Slate Dec. 2018 "Bush Nixon Agnew obstruction scheme memo"
  3. ^ Rachel Maddow podcast listen notes "Episode 4 Listen Notes"
  4. ^ NBC News interview transcript ("real discovery") "M. Beschloss interview"
  5. ^ Bag Man supplementary materials "Bag Man supplementary materials"