Saturday, Oct 17th, 2009
President Barack Obama attended a community service forum at Texas A&M University on Friday hosted by one of his Republican predecessors, former President George H.W. Bush.
Obama took the opportunity to emphasize that, regardless of partisan politics, the government can only do so much with the challenges facing Americans.
“We face threats to our health, our climate and, of course, our security that have left many of our young people wondering what kind of future they will be leaving for their own kids,” Obama told the audience, which including the former president and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. “Anyone here thinks that our government always has the solutions, President Bush and I will be the first to tell you that you’ll be sorely disappointed.”
“The government can build the best school, with the best teachers, but we can’t run the PTA … we can pass the most comprehensive health care reform bill, but Congress can’t be on the ground in our communities caring for the sick and helping people lead healthy lives.”
The two leaders met at Bush’s presidential library to celebrate almost two decades of work from the Points of Light Institute, which was founded with Bush’s encouragement in 1990 to “encourage and empower the spirit of service,” according to the group’s Web site.