This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.
Five former presidents all gathered in College Station, Texas for a benefit concert that was put together to raise money for One America Appeal’s ongoing hurricane relief efforts. The benefit included Presidents: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. What’s interesting is that the current president – Donald Trump – wasn’t in attendance. Perhaps he had a previous engagement, but he did send a video that was shown during the concert.
Lady Gaga was in also attendance, although she wasn’t advertised. “In a time of catastrophe we all put our differences aside and we all come together because we need each other or we can’t survive”, Gaga said to the crowd before her three-song appearance. She announced that she would be donating $1 million to hurricane relief efforts. But maybe more meaningful than that is what she said. If we all put our differences aside, we can come together because we need each other to survive. Very poignant words given what is going on politically, don’t you think?
But that’s also what was being shown on the stage that night with all the former presidents. We have seen three of them (Obama, Clinton, and Bush) at events together recently. Which wouldn’t have happened when they were in office. There always seemed to be bad blood between the two Bush presidents and Bill Clinton. Not as much between George W. and Obama, but maybe enough time has passed that it’s water under the bridge? I don’t think anything was ever done to suggest that there was any kind of beef, but they belong to different political parties and they certainly have different ideologies on how the country should be run.
But maybe it’s more about what Gaga was saying – we need to come together. I am not going to rag on Trump too much in this post, but I think it should be mentioned – he wasn’t there. We see these three former presidents out and about more lately and coming together on causes that they might not have otherwise done. Is it because of the current president? I mean, if these three can come together, it’s possible that anyone can in order to make the world a little bit better. And maybe that’s what we all need to be doing? I say that in the form of a question because I’m still not convinced that other people can sit down with Trump and come to some middle ground.
Sitting presidents often get a pass on attending these kinds of public events. But is that an excuse? What we do know is that Trump spent four hours at one of his golf courses in Sterling, Virginia on Saturday. Whether he played or not we don’t necessarily know. Even without Trump there, it was a successful event for One America Appeal, raising $31 million from more than 80,000 donors.
The video below opens with former President Barack Obama talking about the devastation of the recent hurricanes, but shows all five former presidents.
The former presidents emphasized unity and setting aside political differences as each spoke to the crowd. I will leave you with the words and sentiments from the former presidents during their speeches on Saturday night.
George H.W. Bush: It’s important that those affected by these devastating storms know that even if the path to recovery feels like a road that goes on forever, we’re with them for the long haul.
Bill Clinton: Our friends in Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands have only begun to dig their way out of what could be still a calamitous disaster, but can be a new beginning if we just do what we ought to do and prove that the heart of America — without regard to race or religion, or political party — is greater than our problems.
Jimmy Carter told the crowd that he has worked with Habitat for Humanity for 36 years and they have agreed to build 6,000 homes in devastated areas. Obama praised the volunteerism of George H.W. and Barbara Bush. And George W. Bush praised his father and indicated that the young folks love and admire him. These words are not politically charged at all. So maybe it is possible to put differences aside. Trump thanked the former presidents for their hard work with this event, but his lack of presence seems more like he’s sulking than actively not participating.