'The Presidents' Club': 10 stories about relationships between American presidents

From Truman to Obama, 10 stories of friendships and feuds between US presidents.

9. Clinton and Bush

When various former (and future) presidents gathered to open the George Herbert Walker Bush Library in Texas in 1997, George W. Bush delivered a speech in which he called his father someone who "left office with his integrity intact," a remark many saw as aimed at Bill Clinton. When Bush later came and stayed in the White House while Clinton was still president, aides told Clinton how uncomfortable he seemed. "What's he supposed to do, like me?" Clinton replied. "I defeated his father." When Bush won the presidency, things changed drastically – they seemed to get along fine from the moment Bush arrived at the White House to talk with Clinton. The two disagreed briefly after 9/11 when Clinton said that he told Bush al-Qaeda would be his biggest threat, while Bush said he didn't remember any mention of the terrorist group, but relations were patched up again in later years.

9 of 10

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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