October 27th, 2009
10:03 AM ET
5 years ago

Bush debuts as motivational speaker

Bush spoke at a 'Get Motivated!' event in Fort Worth, Texas Monday night
Bush spoke at a 'Get Motivated!' event in Fort Worth, Texas Monday night

(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker Monday night, telling a Fort Worth, Texas crowd it's futile to waste energy chasing popularity.

"It's so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting, it's not real," Bush said at a "Get Motivated!" business seminar, a multi-city event its organizers describe as an "energizing, action-packed, star-studded, fun-filled, spectacular stage show."

The president himself saw wild popularity swings during his eight years in the White House, garnering nearly a 90 percent approval rating in the months following the attacks on September 11, 2001 and exiting office with only the support of 31 percent of Americans, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.

The former president was greeted enthusiastically by the 11,000 attendees of the event, according to the Fort Worth Telegram, and he spoke casually for about 20 minutes.

Event organizers declined to disclose how much the former president was compensated for the appearance, though former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received $100,000 for a similar speech at the event two years ago.

Bush, who has made few public appearances or statements since leaving office nine months ago, also took the opportunity to reflect on his presidency.

"Every single day, I was honored to be your president by bringing honor and dignity to the office," he said. Bush also added later that his faith played a large role in guiding his decisions: "From a personal perspective, I don't see how you can be president without relying upon an almighty."

Colin Powell, the former Bush Secretary of State who sparred with many members of the president's inner circle over the invasion of Iraq and endorsed Barack Obama's presidential bid - also spoke at the event and offered high praise of his ex-boss.

"We are safer than we were before 9-11 because of President Bush," Powell said.
The former president is also scheduled to participate in another "Get Motivated!" seminar in San Antonio, Texas on December 2, according to the company's Web site.

"For a limited time only," the Web site says, tickets are available for that event at $4.95 per person or $19 for a group.

Follow Alex Mooney on Twitter @awmooneycnn


Filed under: George W. Bush • Popular Posts
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Travis Hamlin

    Even today Bush refuses to actknowledge the biggest political mistake of presidency. He made the mistake of kicking his base in the face. The senate made the mistake of kicking their base in the face. Once any political party makes that serious mistake they then are appealing to no one. In trying to please everyone they lost all support from most everyone. Dont kick your base in the face and expect them to vote for you in the next election. I have one axception to this rule, Obama and the democrats in office. I hope they continue to kick their base in the face which will result in the same polictical failure. Kickem Obama kickem!

    October 27, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Mathew

    Bush was in the motivation business even before this stint. The idea of him leaving office has been an incredible motivation to a lot of people.

    October 27, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. MJS

    He did say he wanted to replenish the "coffers" when he got out of office...

    October 27, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. eanmd

    $4.95 ?!? This crap should be free with a tissue dispenser

    October 27, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. An human being

    Motivational speaker? In my understanding what he left is destruction, poverty, war, and a bad image of himself. Can this "person" motivate something good? I do not think so, he is a very bad sample, do not even mention him, please, we, the humanity, want to be clean and free of monsters.

    October 27, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Susan

    add Cheney to the roster

    October 27, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. La Chatte

    W surely thought popularity was important when he was rubbing his "political capital" in our faces after he co-opted his last election, n'est-ce pas? Now that we can see him live in the flesh for a mere $4.95 (or less), he has certainly changed his tune. Mission accomplished?

    October 27, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. john greco

    i wonder what they would pay bush if he actually could speak.

    October 27, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Tom

    The story says, as to the next event, that "tickets are available for... $4.95 per person or $19 for a group."

    Is there an open bar? Free lunch? Backrubs? No?

    Skip it, then.

    October 27, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. The Party of No = The Party of Nobody

    Just like a circus side-show.

    October 27, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. DB25

    Bush has always been a good motivational speaker. He motivated me millions of other people to vote against him. Twice!

    October 27, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. DB25

    Bush has always been a good motivational speaker. He motivated me & millions of other people to vote against him. Twice!

    October 27, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Frank - Toronto

    WOW!!! I wonder what kind of folks get motivated by listening to Pres George Bush speak. Generally from what I have heard from him over the years, would not encourage me to pay for any of his speeches.

    But his father (George Bush Sr.) well that would be a different story.

    October 27, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Ron

    Proof that America is full of idiots. He is the worst president ever. Destroyed our economy and started two unnecessary wars leading to the deaths of thousands of service members and the wounding of tens of thousands of our troops. 31% still approve of him?

    October 27, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Anthony

    2 words....

    "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

    yup Bush, you are a winner alright.

    October 27, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Jack Fl

    He motivated me to vote...for Obama!

    October 27, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Bj

    Way to go President Bush!! glad to hear you are out and about and lending your guidance to those who would listen. I'm proud of you.

    October 27, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Ben Dover

    A president's popularity isn't important? Obviously, it wasn't to him. When you're a war-monger, subvert the Constitution, circumvent Congessional approval with your own appointment to the UN, fire US attorneys for political reasons, leak the identity of a covert CIA operative, and all the other crap, you can't expect to be popular. What a tool!

    October 27, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. michael

    George, couldn't, and certainley wouldn't motivate me.

    October 27, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Ren from Baltimore

    Let's all wish him well on his distant travels. Lots of distant travels, the more distant the better, of course, but lots.

    October 27, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Ted Tartaglia

    I am at a loss as to what former President Bush brings to the table. He is the son of priveledge who has failed in every endeavor. He failed as a businessman and he failed as a President. The only reason he is not destitute is because of his parents.

    Maybe his angle is to motivate people from the failure perspective. I would rather listen to someone who was successful.

    October 27, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Sea.gem

    Obama needs to hear him speak...all that man does is try to be popular and beloved.

    October 27, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. Fenarkleman

    Bwwaaahhh Haaaa Haaaaa Haaa Haaaaa! This loser as a "motivational speaker?" What's his topic? How do drive any civilization, business or nation into the ground? That's the only "expertise" he has. Gotta love this quote, "It's so simple in life to chase popularity, but popularity is fleeting, it's not real." Nope, but a recession that won't end, a war started for nothing but greed and allowing an entire major U.S. city to sink into near-Armageddon-like destruction. That's real. That's on your resume. Oh, and ignoring reports that say in big, bold, black letters on them "Al Queda Determined To Strike In U.S." Yep, that's there, too. Wow! Well, he definitely "motivated" a lot of people. To vote for Barack Obama. Guess he's setting his sights on "motivating" more people for 2012. Keep talking, Georgie.

    October 27, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. wwf

    This is a joke, right?

    October 27, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Dawn

    What ? Motivational Speaker, give me a break.
    This man cannot even form a complete sentence.
    God help us all.
    Dawn.
    Toronto, Canada

    October 27, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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