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THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION

Bush's Parents Happy to Stand in the Background and Beam

August 02, 2000|MEGAN GARVEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PHILADELPHIA — Former President George Bush and his wife, Barbara, have made it clear for some time what their role is this election year: proud parents.

"I think you can all imagine--every mother and father out here can imagine--how we feel about the fact that our son might just be the next president of the United States come November," Bush said Tuesday.

"We don't really give him any advice. Barbara will tell you that she's inclined a little more than I am," Bush said.

The extended Bush family seemed everywhere this week--from daughter Doro doing the nominating honors Tuesday night for the Maryland delegation to the rest of "the boys"--as their mom calls them--and first cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Still, the former president said he was uncomfortable with talk of the family as political royalty.

"I don't like 'dynasty' and 'legacy' and all that stuff," he said.

But there is no missing the historic aspect to this convention. Never before has a former president looked on as his son was nominated for the nation's highest office. John Quincy Adams got the nod before parties nominated their candidates at conventions and, in any case, his father John Adams had already been out of office for more than two decades.

And Barbara Bush drew an important distinction between herself and Abigail Adams--to date the only woman who was the wife of one president and the mother of another.

"I don't think she was living," she said. "I plan to be living."

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