WTF??????????WHY DID OBAMA GIVE GEORGE H.W. BUSH THE MEDAL OF FREEDOM?????
On February 15, President Obama bestowed the Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest award, to a group of people which includes former president George H.W. Bush. Having spent five years researching the elder Bush and discovering a staggering array of secrets to the man's life--none of them favorable, I was curious why Obama gave Bush the medal.
Officially, it goes to individuals "who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Since that covers just about anything, there's no real need to justify giving the award to "Bush 41." In fact, the group being honored this year includes the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, baseball great Stan "the Man" Musial, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, author Maya Angelou and investor Warren Buffett. Over the years, it has gone to every president from JFK (some posthumously)--through Reagan, who got it from his former veep: George H.W. Bush. They skipped Nixon, so obviously there's nothing mandatory about giving the award to presidents--especially not when a president is ousted before serving out his term. Clinton did not give it to the elder Bush, nor did the younger Bush give it to his father, and so when it came to be Obama's turn to hand out medals, perhaps the pressure was intense.
Notwithstanding the inevitability of the process, President Obama needed to trot out some explanation or other as to why each recipient was deserving. In remarks at the ceremony, he said that H.W.'s "His life is a testament that public service is a noble calling....his humility and his decency reflects the very best of the American spirit.” And he referred to Mr. Bush's “extraordinary life of service and of sacrifice.”