Two Chattanoogans remember working for George H.W. Bush


CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – People across the nation, and here at home are remembering the life and legacy of the 41st president of the United States George H.W. Bush.

His body is now in Washington.

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Yesterday, News 12’s Ashley Henderson talked to former and current Congressmen about working with the former President.

Today he talks to another pair of Chattanoogans about their days working with George H.W. Bush.

State Senator Todd Gardenhire worked with President Reagan and Vice President Bush in the early 80’s. He remembers Bush as being down to earth and friendly.

“I was on the advance team. And so we would go in ahead of time if, the vice president or the president was going to a city, and we would go in a couple of days or a week ahead of time, depending on who it was, and set the trip up.”

Gardenhire says he was surprised at first, at how easy it was to talk with the vice president.

“You don’t find people at that high a level that are so down to earth, or so – most people are so guarded, but he wasn’t so guarded that he made you uncomfortable, he made it  almost like it was his – it was his mission in his life to make everybody as comfortable as possible around him.”

And that applied, even when it came to making mistakes.

“He didn’t care if you made a mistake, if, if a motorcade wasn’t turned around right or if somebody didn’t have the person lined up properly, he would almost step out and help fix the problem, you know he was just a real gentleman about it.”

Doug Fisher worked as an advance officer for Reagan and Bush from 1981 until 1990. He says Bush’s character was something impossible to miss.

“You felt his sincerity, you felt his level of integrity, it was present in every moment, any moment, any time that I ever had the privilege of being around him.”

Fisher says that service to others is ingrained in the Bush family legacy.

“These are just, the whole family of Bush’s are just quality people that care about people.  41 clearly was the one who set the standard for the rest of the Bush family and just, what a great guy.”

In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.