Former Bush Staffer, UOP Professor Reflects on Time in Administration

STOCKTON -- Former communications staffer for President George H.W. Bush, Dave Fredrickson, left national politics to teach at the University of the Pacific.

Still, he says his years working with the 41st president made an incredible impression on him.

“Everything he did in all the years that I was associated with him were driven by those six ideas: faith, family, friends, duty, honor and country,” Fredrickson said.

Frederickson says that of the six presidents he’s served, Bush 41 was different.

“I take nothing away from any of the others, but all can I say is that I think that with George Bush he really was very comfortable in the role of president. It fit him very well and he was never ill at ease or never self-conscious about it," Fredickson said. "It was just a job he had to do. He had a philosophy of life that he saw it in terms of missions, mission assigned, mission accomplished. And so from his perspective being president was just one more mission.”

Still, the former president, CIA director, ambassador, congressman and Navy pilot could be a funny guy.

Fredrickson recalled bidding against Bush in an auction.

“The next thing I knew, I was in a bidding war with him. We drove the bid up quite a bit and, finally, he dropped out and I got the artwork. And immediately he came over to me and he said, ‘Dave, I just wanted to see how high you would go. I was going to let you have them all the time,’” Fredrickson said.

On Wednesday, a National Day of Mourning, Fredrickson reflected on what it means to say goodbye to Bush 41.

“Honor, duty and country, and especially in this day we need to remember that that is the duty of every American, not just the president,” he said. “But every single one of us should be committed to duty, honor and country, and faith, family and friends.”