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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"He has a tender heart that is getting tenderer.”

First Father: Tough Times on Sidelines
Published: August 9, 2007

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 — There are times in the life of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States and father of the 43rd, that people, perfect strangers, come up to him and say the harshest things — words intended to comfort but words that wind up only causing pain.

“I love you, sir, but your son’s way off base here,” they might say, according to Ron Kaufman, a longtime adviser to Mr. Bush, who has witnessed any number of such encounters — perhaps at a political fund-raiser, or a restaurant dinner, a chance meeting on the streets of Houston or Kennebunkport, Me. They are, he says, just one way the presidency of the son has taken a toll on the father.

It wears on his heart,” Mr. Kaufman said, “and his soul.”

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