(CNN) – Former President George W. Bush will throw out the ceremonial first pitch next week at the Texas Rangers' home opener against the Cleveland Indians.
The event marks the fourth time a president has thrown the first pitch of the Rangers' season, and marks Bush's second time on a Major League pitching mound. Former President Gerald Ford threw out the first pitch in 1976, George H. W. Bush did the honors in 1991, and George W. Bush followed his father's lead in 2000.
The Rangers hold a special place in the former president's heart: he was managing general partner of the Texas baseball team from 1989-1994, prior to his election as state governor.
(CNN) – Former President George W. Bush is writing a book focusing on defining decisions he's made in his personal and political life, a publishing house announced Thursday.
The book, tentatively titled "Decision Points," is to be published in fall 2010, according to the Crown Publishing Group. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
The book will focus on about 12 important decisions made by the former president. Topics will include his decision to run for president, his choice of his closest advisers, the September 11 terrorist attacks, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, his response to Hurricane Katrina, the forming of his stem cell research policy, his decision to quit drinking, how he found faith and his relationships with his father, mother, siblings and wife.
(CNN) - Their public positions seemed largely in harmony for eight years, but George Bush and Dick Cheney are striking markedly different tones in their initial months away from the White House.
While the former vice president has been highly critical of the new administration - most recently in an interview with CNN's John King - the president has refrained from disparaging his successor, and is mostly ducking the national spotlight altogether.
Tuesday night, in his first appearance of any kind in more than eight weeks, Bush told a friendly audience in Calgary, Alberta it would not be productive to criticize President Obama right now, saying the new commander-in-chief "deserves my silence."
"I'm not going to spend my time criticizing him. There are plenty of critics in the arena," the former president told the audience, according to the Associated Press.
The president also told the invitation-only crowd a policy of isolationism and anti-free trade is not the path out of the current economic turmoil.
"It's the risk-takers, not the government, that is going to pull us out of this recession," the former president said, according to the Calgary Herald. "My message to policy-makrs is don't substitute government for the marketplace. Don't become protectionist. I'm a free-trader to the core."
But overall, the president's demeanor in front of a friendly crowd was described as jovial.
"This is my maiden voyage," he said in his debut address on the speaking circuit. "I can't think of a better place to give it than Calgary, Canada."
(CNN) - Former first lady Barbara Bush underwent heart surgery Wednesday at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, a hospital spokeswoman told CNN.
Jean Becker, chief of staff for former President George H.W. Bush, said that Barbara Bush, 83, was "fine" following the surgery.
"In fact, she is awake," Becker said.
"We, of course, naively wanted to keep it quiet - Mrs. Bush did," Becker said Wednesday night. "She thought there was too much fuss the last time."
Wednesday's surgery was not related to surgery she had in November for a perforated ulcer.
Her husband is with her in the hospital, where she is expected to remain for seven to 10 days.
"I am very impressed with and grateful to the wonderful team of doctors and nurses at The Methodist Hospital who have helped Barbara," the former president said. "We have every confidence she is in the best hands."
(CNN) –- Just over a month since they left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for a quiet Dallas neighborhood, former first lady Laura Bush said she and her husband are “back to our old routine.”
In her first post-White House interview, the former first lady told ABC News that she and former President George W. Bush were enjoying coffee together every morning, holding dinner parties with friends, and dealing with the hunt for furniture. “Life is great,” she said.
"We have very little furniture. We don't have a kitchen table or a dining room table," said Bush. "Friends loaned me a kitchen table, and the other night I had 16 people for dinner, and I had to borrow chairs from the Secret Service next door.”
Laura Bush says her husband is meeting the neighbors, making trips to the hardware store, and catching up on some reading via a Kindle. His latest read is a novel given to him for Christmas by former Vice President Dick Cheney.
And while Laura Bush lived and breathed politics for the last eight years, the former first lady said she did not watch President Obama's first address to Congress because she simply forgot.
(CNN) – It's been 145 years since he appeared on a ballot, but America's admiration for the man who saved the union and sparked the end of slavery is stronger than ever, according to a new presidential survey.
Abraham Lincoln finished first in a ranking by historians of the 42 former White House occupants released over Presidents Day weekend.
The news wasn't quite as good for the latest addition to the nation's most exclusive fraternity; George W. Bush finished 36th in the survey, narrowly edging out the likes of historical also-rans Millard Fillmore, Warren Harding and Franklin Pierce.
James Buchanan - the man who watched helplessly as the nation lurched toward civil war in the 1850s - finished last.
"As much as is possible, we created a poll that was non-partisan, judicious and fair minded," said Rice University professor Douglas Brinkley, who helped organize the survey of 65 historians for cable television network C-SPAN.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Ed Gillespie, a longtime adviser to George W. Bush, announced Friday he will serve as general chairman of Republican Bob McDonnell’s campaign for governor in Virginia.
McDonnell said in a statement that Gillespie, who ran the Republican National Committee from 2003 to 2005, has “a record of winning tough campaigns and helping to develop and enact policies that make life better for our citizens.”
McDonnell campaign manager Phil Cox said Gillespie “will be involved in every aspect of the campaign, from policy development to strategic decisions to fundraising.”
Gillespie’s ties to Bush extend back to the 2000 campaign, when he served as a senior communications adviser to the then-Texas governor. He went on to serve as RNC chairman during the administration and became a familiar face on Sunday talk shows. Gillespie is a founding party of the Washington lobbying firm Quinn, Gillespie and Associates, but he severed financial ties to the firm after he returned to serve in the White House in 2007. Cox said he is no longer a lobbyist.
Gillespie, a resident of Fairfax County, has also been a player in Virginia politics: He advised George Allen during his failed Senate re-election bid in 2006, and he briefly chaired the Republican Party of Virginia in 2006 and 2007.
Former President Bush and his family departed the Capitol earlier Tuesday for Andrews Air Force Base. (Mike Roselli/CNN)
WASHINGTON (CNN) – On President Bush's final day in office, painters and cleaning crews were still working in the West Wing press offices. Moving crews heaved boxes and delicately carried paintings bound in bubble wrap. Other moving trucks were unloading boxes and carting them into the White House.
George W. Bush spent Tuesday morning making calls. He rang outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
The former president also had a conversation with his good friend the Rev. T.D. Jakes.
Jakes is the chief pastor of the nondenominational megachurch Potter's House in Dallas, Texas. He was in Washington to give a sermon Tuesday at St. John's Church, a short walk from the White House.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As outgoing Press Secretary Dana Perino handed out presidential M & M’s to the White House press corps Tuesday morning, she said that President Bush went to the Oval Office at 6:50 this morning and spoke by phone to Condoleezza Rice, Andy Card, Stephen Hadley and Minister T.D. Jakes, who is a close friend of the outgoing president, and will be giving the sermon at the St. John’s service this morning.
Perino says the President took a last walk around the South Lawn and spent the rest of the morning with his family.
When asked how the president is feeling, Perino said that this is an emotional day for everyone.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - One night before their son turns the White House over to Barack Obama, a melancholy former President George Herbert Walker Bush and his wife Barbara made an impromptu visit to the press briefing room on Monday and chatted with reporters about how much they will miss the building they have called home on and off for a couple of decades.
"We will miss coming and going, but it's time to move on," said the former President, who has been a frequent visitor during his son's two terms in office. "The Bushes are going to a happy life."
When a reporter suggested perhaps former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will take the White House back someday, the former President smiled, "Maybe Jeb will do something. I'd like to see him try."