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A Contrast in Styles as Trump, Country Bid Farewell to George H.W. Bush

A Contrast in Styles as Trump, Country Bid Farewell to George H.W. Bush

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The late President George H.W. Bush will depart the Capitol for the ultimate time Wednesday morning and make one final go by the White Home earlier than his flag-draped casket is positioned on the entrance of the Nationwide Cathedral for his state funeral farewell. Seated a couple of ft away might be a really completely different president, Donald Trump.

The late Republican president’s 4 years in workplace and 1992 defeat to an upstart Democratic governor from Arkansas, Invoice Clinton, supply distinction to the incumbent’s raucous two years and classes for his anticipated re-election bid. The 2 presidents’ work with Congress and legislative histories differ sharply, as do how they comported themselves — from Bush’s considerate letter-writing to Trump’s off-the-cuff tweeting.

“As historical past information, throughout these years he set the usual as a sound counselor and dependable adviser to an outsider who got here to Washington, D.C., to shake issues up, to chop taxes, rebuild the navy. And collectively, they did simply that,” Vice President Mike Pence mentioned Monday of Vice President Bush and President Ronald Reagan as Bush’s flag-draped casket arrived to lie in state Monday within the Capitol Rotunda.

So far as coverage agendas go, Pence might have been speaking about himself and Trump. In truth, he has used very comparable language when describing the Trump administration’s targets.

White Home aides have acknowledged Trump got here to Washington with out a lot information of or expertise in working with members of Congress. That’s one purpose why, aside from an anti-opioids invoice, he has but to dealer a serious bipartisan deal or signal such laws into regulation.

Watch: George H.W. Bush Lies In State within the Capitol Rotunda

[Capitol Welcomes George H.W. Bush to Rotunda for the Final Time]

The other was true for the previous chief government who might be laid to relaxation Thursday in Faculty Station, Texas.

“George H.W. Bush knew Congress. He was a congressman. He did congressional briefings because the CIA director. Bush was the uncommon mixture of politician and statesman,” mentioned Barbara Perry, who research the U.S. presidency on the College of Virginia.

Washington outsiders, together with the sitting president, have come to the Oval Workplace after declaring, “I’m not going to get dragged into the muck,” Perry mentioned, and “they shortly be taught they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Whereas Trump — as he did Tuesday morning — typically lashes out at congressional Democrats with pissed off tweets, the 41st president “favored working with Congress.”

Trump’s largest legislative achievement was a tax overhaul measure that additionally ended the 2010 well being regulation’s particular person insurance coverage mandate and opened a part of the Arctic Nationwide Wildlife Refuge to power extraction. It handed with no Democratic votes in both chamber.

However Bush labored with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, as an example, on the 1990 People With Disabilities Act. It handed that chamber with 91 senators supporting it on the ground; the outcome was additionally bipartisan within the Home, with 377 members voting “sure.”

Some Democratic lawmakers see one other distinction: How the 2 presidents comported themselves whereas occupying the Oval Workplace.

“[Bush] embodied the traits we admire in a president: integrity, civility, dignity, humility, and a honest curiosity in bipartisanship. He valued public service and had respect for presidency as a noble power — a power for good,” Senate Minority Chief Charles E. Schumer mentioned Monday earlier than he and McConnell positioned a wreath beside his casket because it sat on the catafalque first constructed after the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated.

“When he needed to say one thing to somebody, he’d sit down to put in writing them a handwritten and normally heartfelt observe,” Schumer mentioned of Bush. “He used the phrase ‘good friend’ typically, and when he mentioned it, he meant it. His craving for a kinder, gentler nation appears extra wanted now than when he first referred to as for it.”

Notably, Trump won’t say a phrase on the Nationwide Cathedral state funeral service on Wednesday, a rarity for a sitting president.

A number of the similarities between the 41st and 45th presidents supply classes as Trump strikes past a bruising midterm election and begins constructing his re-election bid, specialists say.

[Uphill Path to Spending Deal as Pelosi, Schumer Meet With Trump]

One is the latter’s incapability to carry collectively the political coalition that put him behind the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

“The GOP coalition created in 1980 was constructed on tax cuts, military-spending will increase, and cuts in home spending. The latter proved politically not possible, however the Republicans nonetheless lower taxes and elevated navy spending, yielding a large finances deficit,” Jay Price of the American Enterprise Institute mentioned.

“This, in flip, divided the Reagan coalition by the 1990s: Conservative Republicans have been nonetheless demanding spending cuts, whereas reasonable Republicans and middle-of-the-road voters nonetheless opposed them,” Price mentioned. “If Bush had first been elected in, say, 1980, I feel he would have been simply re-elected 4 years later.”

Trump has taken an identical path by slashing taxes and dramatically growing Pentagon budgets — although his administration now could be speaking about federal finances cuts. Nonetheless, Trump’s personal Workplace of Administration and Price range and Treasury Division mission the federal deficit will method $1.1 trillion this yr, with the Congressional Price range Workplace saying that, shy of modifications to current legal guidelines and spending plans, it possible “grows considerably over the following a number of years, stabilizes for a couple of years, after which grows once more.”

However one longtime Washington budget- and deficit-watcher, Stan Collender, mentioned financial forces may enable Trump to do what Bush couldn’t regardless of ballooning deficits.

“Even a quickly rising, record-setting finances deficit might be no political match for the upper unemployment and decrease inventory markets that may come from an financial slowdown,” the previous Senate Price range aide mentioned. “Trump, who has already amply demonstrated that he’s OK with huge deficits, received’t do something to cease Congress from elevating it even additional, provided that his personal re-election might be jeopardized if the financial system isn’t doing effectively.”

Though Trump may once more defy historical past, Perry famous that most individuals remembering Bush’s time in workplace view it positively regardless of his missteps — like what she dubbed his “Clint Eastwood-like ‘no new taxes’ pledge” — and 1992 defeat.

“If it looks like hero-worship,” she mentioned, “that’s most likely as a result of it’s being seen by means of a lens targeted on the incumbent.”

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