WASHINGTON – During President George H.W. Bush’s four years in office (1989-93), the geopolitical structure of the world changed dramatically.
Eastern bloc nations gained independence, the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union collapsed and the U.S. led an international coalition that drove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.
As the 41st president lies in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, many are asking what his most significant accomplishment in office might be.
TMN spoke with several senators and asked their thoughts.
“The way he negotiated the end of the Cold War,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said. “It allowed the dismantlement of the Soviet Union without military conflict or economic upheaval.”
“Mostly I think its gonna be in the foreign policy arena and security and obviously the collapse of the Soviet Union is part of that,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said. “His leadership at the time when we had Saddam Hussein in power and the change that was made there.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) objected to the premise of the question.
“I think that’s too hard to fully encapsulate,” he said.
“He’s a man who’s touched all points of this globe and affected this nation in profound ways. So I’m just grateful for his lifetime of service and I think that history will try to encapsulate that.”
Bush died Friday night at age 94. He had been in declining health for the past few years and was frequently in and out of the hospital.
Bush is survived by four children, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Prior to being elected president, Bush served as vice president for eight years under Ronald Reagan. He also served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and as a member of Congress.