'I just loved him': George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton's improbable friendship

Manuela Cardiga
Dec 08, 2018
01:37 A.M.
Share this pen

Bill Clinton's opened up about his relationship with former President George H.W. Bush.


Two men who were polar opposites as politicians became close personal friends. But they did have on thing in common: they had both been Presidents of the United States.

They were George H. W. Bush, and the man who had defeated him in his bid for reelection in 1992, Bill Clinton, reported Time.com on December 6, 2018.


“No relationship is quite like the bond between George H.W. Bush and the man who defeated him in 1992. Bush would go so far as to suggest more than once that he might be the father that Clinton had always lacked—a notion that the younger man did not dispute.”

Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, "The Presidents Club"


In the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand on December 26, 2004, and left an estimated 220,000 people dead, President George W. Bush called on his father and his old rival Bill Clinton for help.


He asked the two men to come up with a plan to administer US aid to the region. The two former Presidents underwent an extensive tour of the disaster zones. They spent their days consulting with government officials, and their evenings discovering they had a lot more in common then they had imagined.


The friendship and collaboration of a Democrat and a Republican joining forces to help their people was an inspiration in a time of bitter political strife between the two parties.



After their return to the United States, the two men continued and deepened their unlikely friendship. When Clinton underwent surgery in 2005, President George W. Bush gave the Nation an update on the former President's condition, stating:

“He (Clinton) woke up surrounded by his loved ones: Hillary, Chelsea … and my dad.”

George H. W. Bush would describe their relationship several times as "father/son" and Clinton did not dispute his assertion.



After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2006, the two former Presidents joined forces once again, and set up a non-profit organization and used their considerable joint influence to raise $130 million.


The friendship and collaboration of a Democrat and a Republican joining forces to help their people was an inspiration in a time of bitter political strife between the two parties.

Bill Clinton was one of the mourners at George H.W. Bush's funeral, and he wasn't there to pay lip-service to a fallen opponent, he was there to mourn the loss of a beloved friend and mentor.

Read more on Twitter Amomama USA.



George H. W. Bush wasn't the only one in his family to seek out friends across party lines. His son, former President George W. Bush has struck up an unlikely friendship with former First Lady Michelle Obama, the wife of his Democrat successor to the Oval Office, Barack Obama.

"President Bush and I, we are forever seatmates because of protocol, and that's how we sit at all the official functions. He's my partner in crime at every major thing where all the 'formers' gather. So we're together all the time." She later added, "I love him to death. He's a wonderful man, he's a funny man."


Michelle Obama

The unlikely pair made headlines at Senator John McCain's funeral when George W. slipped Michelle a cough drop from his wife's purse.

At his father's funeral, George W. added a touch of sweetness to a sad occasion when he handed Michelle a piece of candy, which she accepted with a smile.

George W. attributes their friendship to their zany sense of humor:

“She kind of likes my sense of humor. Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like. I needle her a little bit and around her, I’m fairly lighthearted. [The Obamas] are around serious people all the time and we just took to each other.”

Both the Obamas and the Bushes have been ardent champions of children's education and leadership programs and provide a desperately needed example of unity across party lines at a time when America is riven by bitter political antagonism.

In a related story, George W. Bush slipped Michelle Obama a piece of candy at his father's funeral.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

Jenna Bush Hager Said Becoming a Mom before Her Twin Sister Barbara Was a 'Painful' Situation

April 20, 2022

Inside Jenna Bush Hager's Long Island Dream Cottage That Reminded Her of Texas

April 02, 2022

Michelle Obama Felt ‘Lost & Alone’ as She Could Not Conceive at 35 - She Described Having a Baby as ‘Magical'

March 12, 2022

Barack Obama Was Not Worried about His Daughters Dating Their Current Boyfriends

April 29, 2022

George Clooney Believed He Would 'Never Get Married Again' or Be a Dad until He 'Hit the Jackpot'

March 13, 2022

At His Father’s Funeral, Son Sees His Late Dad’s Carbon Copy Watching from Afar — Story of the Day

March 04, 2022

Woman Takes Flowers to Husband’s Grave and Is Confused When Another Woman Throws Them Away — Story of the Day

April 14, 2022

Jimmy Carter Never Had ‘Ambition to Be Rich’ - He Lives in a $167K House & Shops at the Local Dollar General

February 12, 2022

Jane Wyman Forced Ronald Reagan to Propose to Her ⁠— He Cried While Filing for Divorce

March 26, 2022

Millionaire's Son Kicks Wife and Baby Out into the Cold, Loses His Inheritance the Next Day – Story of the Day

February 09, 2022

Fred Rogers Was Happily Married to Wife of 50 Years despite Almost Giving up on Their Romance

March 21, 2022

Little Boy Daily Visits Homeless Beggar with Dog, Once He Sees Dog Sad and Alone – Story of the Day

February 10, 2022

George Clooney Is Now Happily Married to 17-Years-Younger Wife & Is Dad of Twins Whose Birth Made Him Emotional

January 30, 2022

Robert & Kym Herjavec Fell in Love on ‘DWTS’ & Later Wed though She Initially Refused to Date Him

March 22, 2022