TLS: 'Who says Al Gore invented connectivity?'
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BUSH, GEORGE H.W. (b.1924). Forty-first president of the United States and father of George W. Bush, the forty-third. TLS. (“George Bush”). 1p. 4to. Houston, February 1, 2000. To the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke (1941-2010) and his wife, Hungarian-born, American journalist, humanitarian and writer Kati Marton (b.1949).
As far as Barbara and I go, you hit a home run with bases loaded last night. First we got to stay where once we lived before. Many happy memories came rushing back. Then there was that great guest list for the wonderful dinner. Then there was that unique format that made dinner so different and so interesting. I have shamelessly sent out the word that when John Major comes to our Library for a dinner that we will take excerpts from his book and have all the guests participate. Who says Al Gore invented connectivity? You guys did! Then, too, there was that final thrust by the Titans that fell short. This might not have been the highlight of Kati’s evening nor mine actually, but it was a nice post-dinner ice breaker though none of the guests seemed to give much of a damn because they were all still enthralled by the participatory dinner. So the bottom line is thanks a million for reaching out across the dreadful party lines and welcoming us into your home, giving us the key to the bedroom in the process. Attached is a tiny “thank you…”I meant what I said, Dick, about what you’ve been doing at the UNSC.
After serving in the U.S. Navy, Bush, the son of a Connecticut Senator, entered the oil business and became a millionaire by age 40. He was also a successful politician, representing Texas in the House of Representatives from 1967 to 1971. President Nixon appointed him U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and, under President Ford, he served in a diplomatic position with China. He was the director of the C.I.A. for one year before joining Ronald Reagan’s presidential ticket and serving two terms as vice president. In 1988, he ran for the country’s highest office and defeated Democratic rival Michael Dukakis. The Bush administration witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union, the invasion of Panama, the Gulf War, and the signing of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Bush ran for re-election in 1992, but was defeated by Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.
In 1962, Holbrooke began his Foreign Service career in Vietnam and, at the age of 24, was asked to join President Johnson’s special task force on the conflict. Subsequently, he served as assistant to several under secretaries of state, editor of Foreign Policy magazine and director of the Peace Corps in Morocco. Under President Carter, Holbrooke became the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 1977 to 1981. After a hiatus from government work, during which time he was an advisor to Lehman Brothers, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 1993 to 1994, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs from 1994 to 1996, envoy to the Balkans from 1996 to 1999, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 1999 to 2001, a post once held by Bush. In 2009, President Obama appointed Holbrooke the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan and he died in New York City while serving in this position. Holbrooke was responsible for addressing the subject of HIV/AIDS before the United Nations Security Council, referred to in our postscript, as well as the plight of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Rwanda, and other troubled African regions.
Al Gore was a U.S. Senator and President Clinton’s vice president from 1993 to 2001. He was widely lampooned in 1999 when, while running for the presidency, he remarked, “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” Critics took the statement out of context saying the Gore was claiming to have invented the internet, to which our letter jokingly refers, a mere three months after Bush II defeated Gore in a contested election. In fact, Gore was a driving force behind the creation of the “information superhighway” in the U.S., sponsoring legislation that laid the groundwork for today’s internet.
John Major (b.1943) was the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, thus overlapping Bush’s term by two years. Together, Bush and Major supported the establishment of no-fly zones during the 1991 Gulf War. In 1997, John Major was one of the many high-profile guests at the opening of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum located at Texas A&M University.
Journalist Kati Martonwas married to Holbrooke from 1995 until his death in 2010. She is the author of such works as Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America, Hidden power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our Recent History and Wallenberg: Missing Hero.
Signed in blue ink and in excellent condition.