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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Former President Bush speaks at TCC fundraiser

By Shelly Williams/editor in chief

Former President George W. Bush speaks Sept. 7 to help raise funds for TCC Foundation scholarships.  Photo by Deedra Parrish/Special to The Collegian
Former President George W. Bush speaks Sept. 7 to help raise funds for TCC Foundation scholarships. Photo by Deedra Parrish/Special to The Collegian

His father walked into the Oval Office.

“Mr. President,” said his father, who once held the job.

That’s the moment former president George W. Bush realized he had the country on his shoulders.

Bush addressed about 700 people at a fundraiser for scholarships for the Tarrant County College Foundation Sept. 7 in downtown Fort Worth.

“To have a former president of the United States address the TCC Foundation’s group of constituents and supporters is just an historic opportunity,” said foundation executive director Joe McIntosh.

For eight years, comedians made a living at his expense, but this time Bush poked fun at himself as he recalled anecdotes from his presidency and since.

He said his strangest moment as president came when a reporter from Iraq threw a shoe at him in 2008.

“It was like Ted Williams, who said he could see the stitches on the baseball,” he said. “It was coming at me in slow motion.”

Since his presidency, Bush said he’s written a book. He’ll be on tour in two months to promote it.

“I know this comes as a great surprise to those who live on our coasts,” he said. “Most of them didn’t think I could read a book, much less write a book.”

Bush then told stories about settling into his private life outside of the Oval Office, saying he has become more appreciative of the simple things, like walking his Scottish terrier.

“There I was, former President George W. Bush, with a plastic bag in my hand, picking up that which I had been dodging for eight solid years,” he said.

Bush said he’s glad to be home, doesn’t miss the limelight and won’t try to get it. He also wouldn’t get into critiques of current President Barack Obama.

“I don’t think it’s befitting the office of the presidency to go out and be criticizing my successor. I didn’t like it when some of my predecessors — a predecessor — criticized me,” he said, referring to former President Bill Clinton. “You will not see me criticizing our current president. I wish him all the very best. I want him to succeed. I love our country, and he is the only president we have.”

The luncheon helped raise money for the TCC Foundation, a non-profit organization for the school that accepts and manages donations from others. The final total of funds raised was not available when The Collegian asked for information.

Jim Wilkinson, a former TCC student who previously worked in the Bush administration as chief of staff to Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson and senior advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, introduced Bush.

“You weren’t going to amount to much until you went to Tarrant County College,” Bush chided Wilkinson.

Bush then said it was during his time in public service that he became enamored with the community college system in Texas and around the country.

“They’re important, they’re useful, they’re necessary, they’re available, they’re affordable, and they have adjustable curriculum to meet the needs of local employers,” he said. “You’re very smart to support community college systems and Tarrant County College.” 

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