The Atlantic

The Soft Lighting of a President's Legacy

Embedded in the 41st president’s legacy are tensions about the nature of presidential celebrity.
Source: David J. Phillip / AP

The Miller Center at the University of Virginia, a nonpartisan organization focused on American presidential history, offers on its website an extensive list of the key moments of George H. W. Bush’s presidency. Included among the many items are the U.S.’s condemnation of China after the Tiananmen Square massacre, the signing of the START-1 treaty, ushering in the end of the Cold War, and the start of the Gulf War—a listing, all in all, of a series of complicated events that situate the 41st president within the grand sweep of world history.

On Saturday, responding to the news of Bush’s death at 94, the entertainment-news outlet Deadline published of the key moments of Bush’s presidency. This list, focused on video images, includes : the time, in 1990, that Bush declared his personal distaste for the veggie (“I do not like broccoli … And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it”), spurring a teapot tempest among indignant members of the American broccoli lobby.

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