‘He Is the Epitome of a Public Servant’: Condoleezza Rice Reflects on Her Time Working for George H.W. Bush

Stringer/Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Condoleezza Rice served as secretary of state under former President George W. Bush, but she told Fox News that it was former President George H.W. Bush who taught her what it really meant to be a public servant.

Rice joined several other political figures who had worked under the elder Bush and attended the state funeral at the National Cathedral. The former secretary had worked under Bush Sr. as part of his national security council staff. She told Fox News that he taught her what public service looks like.

Watch the video below:

“It’s a big day to remember, as a country, the presidency and the extraordinary contributions of George H.W. Bush. I was fortunate to be on his national security council staff, and he really is the epitome of a public servant. He taught me a lot about how to be a public servant.”

Rice explained how his handling of the reunification of Germany taught her about the importance of taking the individual out of the bigger picture.

“The humility of this man was such that he rarely made it about himself. He never did. And he rarely even acknowledged how important his role had been in ending the Cold War peacefully,” Rice stated.

Rice also noted that, although she worked with Bush on foreign policy, his compassionate public service extended in the United States as well.

“It is, to my mind, totally fitting that one of his great domestic achievements was the Americans with Disabilities Act because it spoke to his compassion,” Rice said. “It spoke to his humanity.”

As IJR previously reported, the funeral proceedings for Bush have drawn tens of thousands of Americans to the Capitol to pay their respects. Rice told Fox News that all of the visitors and memorials say “a lot about who the Bushes are,” adding that “this was the patriarch of a great family.”

Fox News’ Bret Baier, noting that the records of Rice and Bush Sr. are comparable, asked if she would seek the presidency, but she declined:

“I’ve done my part, and in some ways, this is a reminder that you get your time to try and serve the country. You do your very best. You make your mistakes because human beings do, but what George H.W. Bush stood for and reminds all of us that had the honor of being in public service is that you have to have a deep and abiding love for America. A belief in what America can achieve. A belief in what America is, both at home and abroad.”

Although Rice doesn’t claim to have presidential ambitions, she clearly has a lot of admiration for the work done by both of the Bush presidents.

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Phyllis Softa
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George HW Bush deserved the honors of the last 6 days. I was pleased to hear that at least 2 (Meachum and Muroney) of those who eulogized him, read their planned speeches to him last summer. John Meachum said his response was, “There was a lot about me.” Meachum told him that was the mission he had given him. Humility is not a quality that we associated with any politician, but GHW Bush appeared to have had it in spades.

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