President Obama, Bill Clinton call George H.W. Bush a role model

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,President,Bill Clinton

In a moving tribute to ailing former President George H.W. Bush, President Obama and former President Bill Clinton have declared the 41st president a role model for themselves and the nation.

"If there were more people like him," said Clinton in the documentary "41 on 41," "the world would be a better place."

Added Obama, one of the 41 “storytellers” in the two-hour film CNN will debut on Father's Day, June 15, “When people are giving back, those contributions are what clearly bridges all of us, Democrats, Republicans, Independents. And it's fair to say that you couldn't have a better model for that than George H.W. Bush.”

The just announced film features friends like former Secretary of State James A. Baker and former press secretary Marlin Fitzwater, sports stars such as Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, political allies including former British Prime Minister John Major, media personalities like Dana Carvey, Fox's Brit Hume and NBC's Tom Brokaw, and even White House groundskeepers describing Bush, who will turn 90 on June 12.

The theme is pretty much set by White House butler Buddy Carter: “He knew your name.”

In a release announcing CNN’s plans to air the film, former Bush White House counsel Fred McClure said, “The goal of this film is for the world to see President Bush through the stories of his life – one of the most significant in our modern history.”

McClure, chief executive officer for the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, added that “It is more than a recounting of history – it is an engaging and uplifting profile of one of our greatest citizens that no American will want to miss.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at