Episode 10: A Chat with 41’s Personal Aides

The Strategerist Podcast

As personal aides to President George H.W. Bush, Tim McBride and Tom Frechette came to personally know our 41st president. They share behind-the-scenes stories.

As personal aides to President George H.W. Bush, Tim McBride, and Tom Frechette spent long hours with — and came to personally know — our 41st president. They share behind-the-scenes stories from their time as presidential aides, illustrating the man they knew and that so many loved.



Read the episode transcript



Read the episode transcript


00:00 Andrew Kaufmann: Tim McBride and Tom Frechette both knew President George H. W. Bush in a way that most didn’t. As personal aides to the 41st President of the United States, they share with us their perspectives of working closely with him during and after his presidency. The conversation ranges from his leadership style.


00:17 Tom Frechette: He was a fantastic listener, and it sounds so simple, but he really was, ’cause when he was quiet, he was actually listening. And so then when he did speak, his words were very powerful, because he had heard you. He just sort of thought what he was going to say based on what you had just informed him of.


00:33 AK: To funny mishaps that happened along the way, like forgetting a change of clothes for President Bush after his jog with some troops at Fort Knox.


00:40 Tim McBride: Halfway there on the helicopter, I realize, “I’ve left his suitcase with all of his clothes for the evening back at Fort Knox.”




00:47 AK: They also share stories of how President Bush served as a father figure to them, and saw them through some of life’s biggest moments. Join us as we celebrate 41, and hear unique perspectives of the man that many loved so dearly. I’m Andrew Kaufmann, and this is Strategerist, presented by the George W. Bush Institute.


01:08 AK: What happens when you cross the 43rd President, late night sketch comedy, and compelling conversation? The Strategerist, a podcast born from the word ‘strategery,’ which was coined by SNL and embraced by the George W. Bush administration. We highlight the American spirit of leadership and compassion through thought-provoking conversations. And we are reminded that the most effective leaders are the ones who laugh.


01:33 AK: We’re here with Tim McBride who was personal aide to President George H. W. Bush. When were you personal aide?


01:37 TM: So I was President Bush’s aide from 1985 to 1990, overlapping both when he was Vice President and President.


01:47 AK: We’re also here with Tom Frechette. Tom, what did you do for President George H. W. Bush?


01:53 TF: So I was President Bush’s personal aide. I started in 2002, the summer of 2002, and I was his aide all the way until September 2006.


02:03 AK: And we’re here with Freddy Ford, who did not work for George H. W. Bush, but does work for George W. Bush as the chief of staff and was also a personal aide.


02:12 Freddy Ford: That’s one thing I should probably explain, we’ll probably use the terms 41 and 43 during this podcast. And so, when you hear 41, we’re talking about the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush. And when we say 43, that’s the one I work for, George W. Bush. I’m his chief of staff, but I was his personal aide like these guys for the past seven or so years.


02:34 AK: So let’s start with that. That’s what you all have in common, you were all a personal aide to the President of the United States, but what does that mean? Freddy, start with you.


02:43 FF: I don’t know how to answer that question. That closest I ever got to being able to explain it was to say Charlie from the West Wing.




02:51 FF: Why don’t we ask Tim to try to cover that? What is a personal aide?


02:56 TM: I think the personal aide role depends on the principal, the President himself, and then what stage in his or her life the principal’s in. So for me, the personal aide to the Vice President was very different than being the personal aide to the President. The amount of support he had, the demands on him were different, just in changing those roles. So it does change. But basically, my job was to keep him on schedule. He’s very particular about that. Make sure he had all the materials he needed for his day, copies of speeches. We didn’t have email, we didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t have word processors. So things were typed out, his speeches were typed out, his schedules were typed out. And we just made sure that all the arrangements were made for everything he did throughout every day.


03:44 AK: And Tom, how close to Charlie Young do you think your career followed?




03:49 TF: I don’t know what he did after…




03:51 TF: Each president I think has their own version of what an aide is. During my time, we’d spent a lot of time with the former President Clinton and got to know his aides. They had more of them. They didn’t actually have one, they had a few. And so you got to see how it sort of evolves around whatever the president that you’re working for wants. And as Tim said, it also is affected at timing. Tim was the, literally, the president’s aide. I was former President Bush’s aide when his son was president. And so the job required different things. I would’ve killed to have advance people, where you could turn around on a mic and say, “Here…” but it was one guy. 41 used to, I think in a nice gesture, refer to me as a pack mule. So he would just keep throwing gifts and things our way.


04:46 TF: But it was always similar, it was, first and foremost, keep the President on time. He had no issues saying, “Grab me,” or saying, “How are we doing on time?” Or, “Tommy, are we running late?” Immediately you start to just look up and say, “Yeah, okay, we gotta get out of here.” You play the bad guy to get him out of there, but there were a lot of things. If he had pieces of a speech that he needed to include, you had to go and you had to do it. Correspondence, you essentially become a de facto press spokesman, where you’re helping write press releases, you’re answering questions from the press. But it’s just all-encompassing. You end up being the guy that’s always with the President there to solve problems, make his life easier. And so that’s sort of what we did day in and day out.


05:29 FF: That’s such a big part of it, just being present, you’re kind of always on call. And as a result, you get to find yourself in some pretty extraordinary situations, and I wonder if any stand out to both of you, Tim and Tom. Any great experiences that have stayed with you for the past years.


05:47 TM: I remember being with President and Mrs Bush on a Sunday when word came that Nelson Mandela had been released. I’m not sure I understood the historical significance at that moment as much as I do now, but it was clear, that was a really important occasion. Or visiting the Popes or Mother Teresa once on the West Executive Avenue as the President or then Vice President is walking over to his office there. Extraordinary opportunities that just came as a result of being around.


06:23 TF: Yeah. The ultimate fly on the wall. And we were the replaceable piece.




06:28 TF: So whenever you refer to oh, we did this, we did this. It’s, he did this, and the lucky kid, or guy that was with him was there, and that’s how I view it and that’s how it was. But yeah, there were so many moments, but one in particular was a sort of highlight of George Bush’s life, for me, was his sense of duty, honor, country. It was the World War II Memorial dedication and they had President Bush, 41, President Clinton, and they also had… They also had the President show up. And what was amazing about it is President Bush 41 is walking up to the stage and there were some Medal of Honor recipients in the crowd that we were passing. And when he noticed that, he stopped, squared up, and so the agents were running, all them sort of stopped with him and he saluted. And the recipients froze, one gentleman could not get up, he was just unable to. And the other gentleman struggled to get up, but he did. And you could see this tremendous emotion, ultimately in all their eyes, and therefore everyone around.


07:34 TF: You had walked away saying, “That is a really powerful moment.” So those happened over and over. I’m Catholic, so I got to meet my grandmother’s hero, Pope John Paul II. And then ultimately, we sadly went to, which is a great honor, we were able to go. I was, again we, I was able to join the US delegation of the former Presidents and the President when they went to the Pope, His Holiness’s funeral a few years later in 2005.


08:03 AK: So, through all this, you’re getting to see the President up close and personal. How would you describe his leadership style and how did that, more importantly, impact you?


08:13 TM: Please.


08:13 TF: Well, I was gonna give you the leadership style, ’cause he was… You were here when he was [chuckle] President, and it’s just different. But virtue, I’m happy to talk about sort of the virtues. There’s a tremendous amount, you’ll hear us say it tonight, I don’t know if you’ll say that, but you’ve heard a lot about 41, what he is. He just sort of was the epitome of what every school kid was taught to be. He lived his life. He was a guy who lived by this code of ethics and principles. And he didn’t waver from them. And to see that firsthand, that’s one of the reasons why our job was so amazing is because you actually witnessed someone living that day in and day out. And so, ultimately, it’s something that just had a profound impact on me and I know others.


[background conversation]


09:06 AK: Can we get a little closer to the mic ’cause that is fantastic. For those listening at home, Tim McBride has just played a rap song. If you had told me Tim McBride could be on his ring tone, that is outstanding.


09:23 TF: So does that ring tone apply to a specific person? Or is that for when everybody calls?


09:27 TM: That is the default.


09:27 AK: That’s awesome. That is awesome.


[background conversation]


09:41 AK: I don’t know how old Tim is but right now he’s about an 18.


09:45 TF: I vote that we do not edit this out.


09:45 FF: No, I think that stays. This is real. So bad. So, one of the questions I was gonna ask, not to cut you off…


09:51 TF: It kind of ended right there anyway.


09:52 AK: But we talked about the high moments, but were there ever any great embarrassing moments? I’m really looking at you, Tom, but Tim, you may have had one two.


10:01 TM: Weekly, daily. There were plenty of ’em. And the amazing thing about President Bush, 41, none of it phased him. So I screwed up all the time, and he rolled with it, we rolled with it. One time I forgot his clothes at Fort Knox, we were getting on the helicopter, he was President then. He visited with the troops and went jogging with the troops. And then when we were flying to Louisville for an event a couple of hours later, halfway there on the helicopter, I realize, “I’ve left his suitcase with all of his clothes for the evening back at Fort Knox.”




10:38 TM: And the agent said, “Well, the car’s on the way to the airport.” So I thought, “I’ll just see if we can stall and hopefully the clothes get there.” Well, he eventually comes looking for me, “Time to get dressed, where are my clothes?” “Yeah, we don’t have your clothes, sir.” And so the agents all pitched in. And before long, he was dressed, and then the clothes arrived. But he should’ve fired me for that. But…


11:04 TF: So I wanna go on record, I never made a mistake.




11:07 TF: I know it’s amazing. And I was there seven years. It’s just wild, Tim, that you would’ve made… No, it’s not fair. Tim was referred to by Barbara Bush as Mr. Perfect. So there was a point where… Oh gosh, yeah, I made tons of mistakes. And Barbara Bush would be very quick to say, “Tim, deary, Tim would not have made that mistake.” To the point where one of her good friends said, “We should get you a ‘What would Tim do’ bracelet.” They didn’t do it, but… So yeah, I had a few. One was, this is quite an embarrassing moment where it was their anniversary that was being held at the White House. And I had been tasked with going out and getting some gifts from some of their closest friends. And I did that and an admirable job.


11:57 TF: It was getting out of the cab and not remembering to get all of the gifts out of the cab with me. And just by, and I don’t know if you’ve had to hail a cab in Washington, DC, but it’s a pretty miserable experience, at least finding the cabs. And I did, it’s amazing out of the whole city, I thought, “I’m fired.” I found the gifts that were in the back seat, so it was pretty great. But yes, I had made… Forgot a few things on the road. The best part about George H. W. Bush was even though you feared, you wanted to crawl under a rock and you were certain to be sent home, he just brushed it off, “This is life.” It never bothered him, which was absolutely amazing.


12:33 AK: Well, and you actually brought up Mrs. Barbara Bush and some of her reactions, what did… She called you Mr. Perfect, did you feel like you were Mr. Perfect?


12:42 TM: No.




12:42 TM: No, I struggled every day to be Mr. Perfect, but I don’t know that I felt I ever achieved that. But what I noticed during my time with her, and I’m sure this is true in Tom’s experience but I don’t wanna speak for him, what she cared most about is that the people around her husband were there to serve him, and to help him, and to help him be successful. So if she was intense or eager for things to go well, it was all in the interest of her husband’s success, her husband’s comfort. And so to the extent that she thought we were about that, she was extremely supportive.


13:24 AK: So you got to see President 41 Bush in a lot of different situations. One of the things that we ought to think about is that leadership mentality and that emotional intelligence that goes with it. What’s a small behind the scenes moment, Tim, especially for you, where you really saw that leadership in a way that made you say, “Wow, that’s… I never would have pictured that but that is a perfect response?”


13:49 TM: What I saw throughout the time I worked with him and… Was this ability to value and appreciate the role of everyone who supported him. The contribution people made in even the little things. He had an appreciation, he had an empathy, he had the ability to put himself in others’ shoes. And it was something… He had a real sensitivity to the role that each of us played, no matter how grand or small. That’s why it’s one of the reasons, I think, and this is true of President Bush 43 in the 43s is the household staff have great affection for the 43s and for the 41s, largely because there is an appreciation for the contribution and the dignity of the jobs each person did in supporting them and their country.


14:44 TF: He cared about the… He cared about the other guy.


14:46 TM: The other guy. Yeah.


14:47 TF: It was always, “I wanna make sure I’m understanding what you’re saying. Can we find common ground?” And he was a fantastic listener and it sounds so simple, but he really was. ‘Cause when he was quiet, he was actually listening. And so then, when he did speak his words were very powerful because he heard you. He just sort of thought what he was going to say, based on what you had just informed him of and he spent a lot of time trying to find that middle ground. And I think that that helped him as a leader throughout his life in sort of what was the big strong qualities of George Bush’s leadership.


15:23 AK: Freddy, did you as a member of 43 staff, did you learn from the members of 41 staff?


15:29 TF: Let me… Should I take that or do you wanna…




15:34 FF: Give me a turn, Tom.




15:36 FF: Well, actually one of the great resources of the fact that 43’s father was President is that we always had a play book. And so the very first thing I did when I got my job in Dallas, in the office of George W. Bush, the former president, was drive to Houston and meet with the team down there and it helped me tremendously. And then every few months we’d go to Maine and I’d get to kinda emulate what the Coleman LaPointe and Tom Frechette people were doing up there. So it was a… Yeah, it was a huge help to have a guide book in the form of 41’s staff.


16:15 TF: Freddy didn’t need it.




16:19 TF: He was… He came right out of the gate, ready for it. He was very good.


16:22 TM: I feel like he’s always been for the past 55 years, Freddy Ford as you see him before you.


16:26 TF: Yeah. Exactly.


16:28 TM: No one knows this, but Freddy, he just turned 72. I don’t know if anyone knows that. It’s just… Sadly no one could see…


16:34 FF: I feel like it. Yeah.


16:36 AK: Well, actually one thing I was gonna ask you guys is to tell the listeners what you’re up to now. I myself have never escaped the aide world, but you did, And I wonder what lessons you learned while you were aide have helped you in your careers and… But what are your careers now?


16:52 TM: I work for United Technologies. I’m Senior Vice President of Global Government Relations, a fancy name for lobbyist. I run our global government affairs team. But the lessons I learned from 41 are really in how to manage a team. How to engage a team, how to try to get the best performance out of a team and to value the contributions everyone makes.


17:14 TF: And I left and I went to work for… I had studied finance in college and I was offered what was ultimately the greatest job ever, to work for George Bush, and then I found my way back to finance. And so I’ve been in New York City ever since working for a… An asset manager in the city on a what we call a control investing or a private equity-like team. But I think there’s a multitude of lessons. But one thing George Bush always strived to live by or advice he would give is no matter what your job is, it doesn’t matter if you’re the janitor or you’re a bus boy or you’re President of United States, do it to the best of your abilities and you’ll succeed in whatever you’re doing.


17:58 TF: And so I’ve tried to emulate that in sort of each of these jobs that you do, but it’s the best advice you can give because from doing well in one job, it will open up something else that continues to open up. It just… It really is phenomenal advice. Simple advice but so many people don’t follow it, but it really is a profound statement to make, if you truly follow it and helps in your career.


18:17 TM: Absolutely.


18:18 FF: One thing that my boss talked about in his eulogy of his father was that… Yeah, 41 was 43’s father but he was also a father figure to who knows how many thousands of people, from Jim Nance to Arnold Schwarzenegger and I wonder if you all felt that. And you’re both fathers now and have you thought about his example?


18:41 TM: I would very much… I very much viewed him in that way. My own dad was sick most of the ’88… During the ’88 campaign, dying of pancreatic cancer. And it was Vice President Bush running for president who said, “You need to drop off the campaign. Go visit your dad. These are the days that will matter, and come back when you can.” And my father died just before or just after the election. And so it was really President Bush, who later celebrated all the important events in my life. Falling in love, getting married, having children. And so in that sense, he very much was a father figure to me.


19:22 FF: Wow.


19:23 TF: Yeah, I would… Maybe it’s just generational, but my own father, I view is just… He’s an amazing man. He has many characteristics like 41 and he’s taught me a lot. And so there’s two guys in this world that I would sort of put on this pedestal and one is my dad, one is 41, in sort of a grandfatherly role. But he was always there to say, “You should do this,” or “Careful here,” or “Watch out,” or if you asked advice he’d give you an answer thoughtfully. Sometimes days later, ’cause he had really thought about it, which is amazing, right? That a former President of the United States would actually give you the time to think, “Oh, gosh that’s… Someone might be hurting,” or “He might need to be uplifted,” or sometimes giving me a bad score by the ranking committee in my jokes.


20:06 AK: I thought was completely unfair. Completely unfair.


20:08 FF: You might wanna explain the ranking committee.


20:10 TF: So, the ranking committee I think was a reference 41 used to judge everything, whether it was a family outing, and people were upset over which heat they were in for horseshoes or something, you know checkers, or whatever the game may be, backgammon. But he… 41 through email became a prolific reader of jokes. He was a tremendous sender or forwarder of those jokes. But he would always judge and score them. People always ask, “Well, what’s he scoring?” He would say, “Well, the ranking committee gives you a score of 5.6.” I think the highest I ever got was 6.5, which is pretty un…


20:51 TF: Some of these were pretty good. Some of these were pretty good. No, but he was just so funny. And so, finally everyone had just kept asking, “Who is this ranking committee?” And unfortunately, this is on a podcast so I won’t be able to share the photo, I don’t think. But he actually posed, and there’s five people in this photo and they’re all with 41’s head.




21:11 TF: And they’re different people, and it is just humorous. And he said that, “I have unveiled the ranking committee, all these years.” And so, the family knew, and staff knew, and friends knew, and he used that quite often.


21:23 AK: Well, that’s a great post-presidency example of humor. Tim, while he was in office, did you see this same sense of humor?


21:30 TM: We did. I’ll think of some example, but he and Mrs. Bush found humor in each other’s company. Everything was funny. You may have heard references to the Scowcroft award.




21:43 TM: Also, there was a ranking committee for that too.




21:48 TF: This is a great one.


21:49 TM: Starting with General Scowcroft, who was National Security Advisor to President Bush at the time, he was burning the candle at both ends, between his day job and looking after his own wife who was ailing. He would occasionally nod off in meetings with the President, so that led to an award in Scowcroft’s name, the Scowcroft award. And they would get… Following meetings with the President, if somebody nodded off in the President’s presence, they would later evaluate and judge that nodding off based on a number of criterion. And just howl about the person waking up and spilling coffee, or trying to act cool.




22:31 TM: But not being very cool at all. And…


22:33 TF: What I love about hearing, I was not there, these were presidential days, what I loved about hearing these stories from 41 is that one of the pieces of criteria was not just the act of sleeping and waking up, and how dramatic [chuckle] was the wake up. But it was how quickly you could re-engage in the conversation.




22:48 TF: It got you a lot of points.


[background conversation]




22:53 TF: Yeah we… Their humor, a lot of it’s on tape. You could see them when they’re recording certain things. And laughter was so huge. One thing that just always sort of blew my mind, shocked me was, we’d be on the road traveling, President Bush would be giving a speech somewhere, and afterwards he would have a dinner, or he would have a reception or something, and people would come up and say, “I never understood he was… That he had such a great sense of humor.” To me, that was shocking, because he had one of the greatest sense of humors out there. But I think it went back to… His respect for the office just knew no bounds. And so his public image was one in which people looked at him as this stately gentleman, which he was. But the human side of George Bush was just full of laughter and humor, it was a way in which he could deal with the stress of each of his jobs that were quite substantial throughout his life. I used to…


23:55 TF: One of my favorite lines is Barbara Bush during his… All the 41 parachute jumps, he had done a few, and by his 80th birthday he was doing it again and President Bush was getting, I think he was a little bothered by the way Mrs. Bush kept saying to press and to friends, “Either way, this is his last jump.”




24:17 TF: He thought, “Well, is there another way you could phrase that?” [laughter] I’ll stop, or whatever. Little did she know, he’d do it for another 10 years. But they, they… Back and forth, it was a needling, and even needling with whether it was with his aides or friends, or whoever it was, but it was never done in a mean spirit. It was always just something that you knew was truly just being comic relief and not hurtful. And he just always and, but he had a tremendous sense of humor.


24:46 FF: It really is a sign of affection. If you got the needle, if you were the subject of the joke, it meant you were all set, right?


24:54 TF: I think, personally, he got an unfair share.


[background conversation]


25:00 FF: My boss’s grading system for jokes, I had to figure this out on my own, But about 60% of the time, he would say, “Good one, Fred.” And about 35% of the time he would say, “No, Fred.”




25:17 FF: And about 5% of the time, I could actually get him to laugh.




25:21 AK: Well, on to another topic entirely. We spend a lot of time talking about current events in this building and we’re always… We’re always thinking hard about what is… What are we gonna do to solve the problems of the world. When you look back at your experiences, what do you think we should all be talking about that we’re not talking about enough? Tom, I’ll start with you.


25:49 TF: I think people should… I’d go back to one of the things I said earlier, I think people should listen, right? Everyone’s very good at just yelling out what they think without actually sitting down and listening to the other side. But finding some, you can each have opinions on both sides, but trying to find the common ground. And this is a… Going back to 41 being President, right? He was a President that had Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate, the entire time he was president. Just… You think about it, any of the last Presidents had difficulty was with one chamber, or both chambers there, and still it was difficult. So this was a man that was… His whole life he had listened, he had learned that valuable lesson, but he was willing to compromise. And I think it is vital for the success of the country moving forward. I know we go through waves where sort of each side cements themselves into an opinion. But sitting down, listening and then trying to find the bits that are sort of the commonality.


26:57 TF: But, there are small bricks in which you can continue to build versus just setting up a wall where people on both sides just it’s impenetrable. It’s just you don’t go anywhere. That would be sort of a glaring lesson, at least from 41, where I think the future should look to as inspiration in what to do.


27:15 AK: Tim?


27:16 TM: Yeah, Tom mentioned the word compromise, that was critical to any success that President Bush had. And he had plenty as President, to the frustration of many in the White House staff, his closest friends were Democrats that he had served in the House with back in the ’60s, who were then in leadership positions, either in the House or the Senate. This was the early days of some partisan needling between the Congress and the White House, and yet, the President was very close to many of those Democrats from his House days, and they found ways to work together and to achieve some success. Compromise, putting yourself in the other guy’s shoes, trying to understand what the other guy would define as success is something that I think led to his success as President. Without that, there would be gridlock, and I think we see some of that today in the way both sides react to the word compromise. Compromise is not something to be admired in the current environment, and yet that was critical to the success of President Bush.


28:29 TF: It’s amazing how became a dirty word. [chuckle] The government was designed to grind, and so the way forward was to find compromise. So they’ll just simply both will have to get better.


28:42 TM: Somebody attributed this to President Reagan, “If I get 85% of what I’m about, that’s pretty good, or what I’d like in a negotiation.” And yet now each side carves out, if you’re not delivering 100% for your side, either the right or the left, you’re somehow not successful.


29:06 AK: One of the concerns I have, and I think a lot of us have here at the Bush Institute, is that as politics, at least seems to be increasingly ugly, that good people, good young people get scared away from public service, from politics. So based on the experiences you all got to have working for President Bush, what would you say to somebody, to a young person in college, mapping out their careers and considering public service for even a portion of their careers?


29:34 TF: Well, one, 41’s big quote he used to say all the time was, “There could be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others.”


29:44 TM: And that really defines Bush 41’s life: Service to others in all the things he did. From his earliest days, enlisting in the Navy to serving as President and even after he was no longer President in how he conducted his post-presidency years serving others. So I think there is inspiration in that. We can take some heart from the number of young people elected to Congress in the last wave, regardless of your political bent. Young people aren’t entirely turned off from engaging, perhaps they’ll do it differently, perhaps they’ll take on the status quo, perhaps there will be some institutions that these younger members will challenge.


30:34 TF: President Bush did say, he truly believed it, that public service is a noble calling, and people really should try to… They shouldn’t be ashamed to walk away from it, but it’s… Where we are today, I think he would say we go through waves, and it could be ugly, and it can be nasty, but if you go back in history, it’s been ugly and nasty at different points for a long time. So it’s just finding the right people at the right moment that you can partner with and build on. And I think it has to come in waves and people have to work hard to get there. It’s easy to do the other side. But that’s where I think he would point people to.


31:15 TM: But I think you’re correct, though, to be concerned about the impact of today’s tone on the bureaucracy. Bureaucracy has a negative connotation and yet the government, the institutions that support all of us are made up of people who I think, for the most part, are devoted, hard-working folks trying to do the right thing. And so, bureaucracy ought not be just dismissed as some evil, faceless entity, because public service comes in many different forms, from first responders to experts who are staffing important government roles, not just elected officials. So we’ve gotta find ways to…


32:02 TF: The military. The easiest way certainly, he used to say is, “You serve your country through the military, what a selfless way to serve,” but politics and certainly everything Tim has just gone through, there’s a lot of ways, but just do it.


32:13 AK: Well, much of government is designed to not be exactly a nimble process on purpose, but to save yourself from yourself at times, right?


32:22 TM: And that’s where compromise becomes critical. Each side doesn’t get to choose the final outcome alone. I think the checks and balances in the system lead or ought to lead to compromises that benefit society overall. But we’re at a bit of a gridlock these days, it seems.


32:42 AK: Well, guys, thank you so much for all the time today. I know you’re here, not just for this, but for also our engage at the Bush Center presented by Highland Capital Management. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedules to come down and it’s much appreciated. Tim McBride, Tom Frechette and Freddy Ford, thank you all.


32:58 TM: Thanks very much.


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Andrew Kaufmann
Director, Marketing and Communications
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Learn more about Freddy Ford.
Freddy Ford
Chief of Staff
Office of George W. Bush
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Ioanna Papas
Director, Communications
George W. Bush Institute