Memories of a Latina Republican about President George H. W. Bush
I met President George H. W. Bush for the first time back in 2006 at his Presidential Library. He was extremely engaging and kind. I introduced my two sons Nathan (14) and Samuel (10) to him and he was kind. We then talked about Hispanics in the party. He learned my name that day.
During the following several years, I greeted him six more times at different events. In one of those events, he introduced me with his grandson George P. Bush, and I mentioned to the President that I wished that George P. would run for office some day: “He needs to continue working hard first and serve his country before he even thinks to run for office" (which George P. did).
At another time, he introduced me to his good friend and former Secretary of State James Baker. I saw him a third time as he jumped from an airplane to his presidential museum during a rededication ceremony in College Station, Texas in 2007. I greeted him again.
I saw him at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota: “President Bush, Hola”- I called to him at a short distance. “Adryana, hola," he answered to me! As his health in his later years became diminished, I saw him two last times, one at the private party of the presidential library of his son President George W. Bush. Former Treasurer of the United States Rosario Marin and I walked in and listened to the mariachis playing, and we gave him a hug. On the following day I could see him again, alongside all the living Presidents and living first ladies. I had the honor to greet them, and I stopped with both of them: 41 and 43. “Adryana, nice to see you”- 41 said.
The most touching thing for me is that EACH and every one of those times the President greeted me, he remembered my name, pronouncing it correctly. I will never forget that. He knew it. That is what he was for me: engaging, kind and cordial. A firm believer in engagement with the Hispanic community, President George H.W. Bush talked with me about the need to continue engaging Hispanics in our party. He was crucial laying the groundwork for the RNHA to engage Hispanic voters. I appreciate his kindness and will never forget him. May he rest in peace.