Former local WH speechwriter remembers President Bush

December 01, 2018 06:16 PM

Many across the country are remembering the nation's 41st President, George H.W. Bush. Bush died at the age of 94 Friday night.  

Those who served with him say he was genuine and gracious, even when things didn't work out.


Curt Smith was the man behind many of Former President Bush's speeches while he was in the White House and beyond. Smith now lives in the Rochester area. He and Bush shared common interests like baseball, seafood, Texas and more so after working with him, the two remained friends for more than 30 years.

"He was exceedingly kind, gracious, courteous, bright he had gone to Yale," Smith said.

Bush Senior also earned an honorary doctorate degree from RIT. He addressed the Class of 1997 as commencement speaker.

"Don't be afraid of trying of dreaming, of failure or of tears," Former President Bush said in his speech. "We all stumble, we all face defeat." 

President Bush did face defeat in 1992, when he lost to Bill Clinton in his presidential re-election campaign. Smith says that loss showed his character.

"We lost that campaign to Bill Clinton and yet he didn't blame the staff...he blamed himself," Smith said.

Smith also remembers victories with Bush as the leader of the free world.

"This is a man who dismembered communism, who helped free Eastern Europe, who booted Sadam Hussien out of Kuwait and helped free millions of people," Smith said.

On top of that, Smith recalls President Bush's dedication to his family and his authentic personality.

"The guy you saw on the tube was the guy we saw in the oval office," Smith said.

Even though Bush has passed, Smith says his legacy will last.

"He is someone that I will always remember simply as a friend and someone who was very good to the people of the United States," Smith said.

Smith tells News10NBC he is planning to attend Bush's funeral in Texas. He says he's finding joy in the remembering how extraordinary Bush was to his family, friends and of course his country.


Kaci Jones

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