UH Experts Available: The Legacy of George H.W. Bush

As you plan your coverage surrounding the passing of George H.W. Bush, the University of Houston has experts to offer insights into his legacy.

The University of Houston offers live high definition broadcast interviews through our ReadyCam broadcast studio. Located on campus, the digital studio can connect UH experts with networks 24/7.

Jim Granato, executive director, Hobby School of Public Affairs

George H.W. Bush’s accomplishments and devotion to public service are legendary – decorated WWII veteran, successful businessman, congressman, CIA director, ambassador to the United Nations and to China, chairman of the Republican National Committee and vice president, all prior to becoming President. 

  • “His successes as President, particularly in foreign policy, set a high standard.  In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, he and his foreign policy team helped engineer a peaceful transition, including a steadfastness to the attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, which ultimately was defeated.”
  • “The first Persian Gulf War was also a testament to his foreign policy acumen. The broad coalition he and his administration formed was important to the decisiveness in the outcome.”

Brandon Rottinghaus, professor of political science

Rottinghaus is an expert on the presidency and executive level politics, political scandal and political communication. Rottinghaus said that, given Bush’s wealth of experience, we may never see a president as accomplished or prepared to serve as president again.

  • “George H.W. Bush was ‘the last Rockefeller Republican’, a moderate in an age where the Party was shifting in a more conservative direction.”
  • “He consistently put country above politics, which was a challenge during his time in office as the American political world changed in his four years and the world was reshaped.”

Nancy Beck Young, professor of History

Young is a historian of 20th century American politics. Much of her work involves the study of Congress, the presidency, electoral politics and first ladies. She is especially interested in Texas political history-which includes Texans in Washington, D.C.

  • “George H.W. Bush was the last moderate Republican president. He will always be known for his role in the shift in Texas from one-party Democratic to one-party Republican identification and voting, as well as his commitment to bipartisan governance in Washington, D.C.”
  • “Bush will be remembered for his international coalition building, which includes his role in ushering in the post-Cold War world and for his domestic record - the Americans with Disabilities Act, Supreme Court appointments, the budget deal and tax increase, and the Clean Air Act Amendments.”

Rheeda Walker, associate professor of clinical psychology

Walker, director of the Culture, Risk and Resilience Lab, says bereaved persons can experience unimaginable pain. She can address the impact of grief of losing a loved one. 

  • “In the short-term, grief can feel like insurmountable sadness, emptiness and loss. Life as it once was is no more. The bereaved individual may not want to eat, socialize or engage in any of the activities that he or she typically enjoys. The passing of a loved one is something for which no one can ever truly prepare because all that we will have are memories; no one can be replaced.”
  • “The bereaved can and should be allowed whatever they need to work through grief. How one thinks about and is permitted to mourn the death of a loved one can impact the healing process.”