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

Bush debuts as motivational speaker

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/23/art.gwbush0923.gi.jpg caption="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. Barry in Maryland

    He thinks he brought honor and dignity to the office of the president? This guy is still deluding himself.

    October 27, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  2. Enough

    Given what we have attempting to run the country now...........I miss Bush. He wasn't nearly as bad as Obama bankrupting the country. Everyone blames Bush for everything, when the housing crisis blame is due to the Democrats liberal view that everyone has the right to home ownership and Barney Frank and Chris Dodds refusal to reign in Fannie and Freddie. Democrats have no clue what they are doing and so they continue to blame, blame and blame some more.

    October 27, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  3. Jackson

    oh I thought he was going to be a monkey at the zoo...this man is not very motivating and a horrible speaker so I don't see this as being very successful.

    October 27, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  4. Michael-SC

    8 years and so quiet and now a public speaker.
    when he was on TV I fell asleep because of his speeches and the way he talks. No motivations at all. Made me fall asleep.

    October 27, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. Spuddy

    He was just in Canada as well, war mongering idiot should stay on his side of the fence.

    October 27, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  6. RLove

    George Bush conducting a "Get Motivated" seminar? Isn't this the same George Bush that sat on his hands while the economy was going down in flames?

    October 27, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  7. CJ

    He will never speak outside the state of Texas!

    October 27, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Ernesto

    I'm so pleased President Bush doesn't seek popularity. He must be very happy to have so little of this based on his handling of virtually every aspect of his plicies that we will suffer with for generations.

    October 27, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  9. Gene

    Not chasing popularity is one thing. Antagonizing almost everybody, around the world, is another. . .

    October 27, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  10. Jim in Florida

    You simpletons at CNN headline "Bush has new Career" – how utterly stupid. You continue to belittle Bush – it seems CNN's job in life is to bash Bush. So, he is a motivational speaker from time to time – a lot of ex-Presidents hit the speaker trail – but it is not a "new career".

    There are a few pinheads at CNN who should be looking for a "new career" since the one in journalism isn't successful.

    October 27, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. markus

    I think I'd choose to listen to Jed Clampett give a motivational speech before this idiot...

    October 27, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  12. Michael-SC

    can he speak in full sentences now and does what he tries to say make any sense? sure didn't in the last 9 years.
    Maybe he had a crash-course in English language

    October 27, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  13. foucault

    now G.W Bush can star a career as pastor particularly in Texas....he just know how to talk to intellectualy limited people...good luck

    October 27, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. Mike

    Funny why Bush would be speaking at a motivational seminar about success. He was a failure as a President!!

    October 27, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  15. Bruce

    Bush a motivational speaker?

    What's he gonna do? Say "Don't do what I did"?!?!?

    Sounds like the village of Crawford is once again missing its idiot!

    October 27, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  16. Shane

    He's kidding, right?

    October 27, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  17. Clive

    The man should be in jail. Shame on those who hire him.

    October 27, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  18. Bruce

    bringing honor and dignity to the office?

    Doesn't he mean dishonor and disgrace?

    October 27, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  19. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Why was he not impeached? Why is he not in prison awaiting trial for war crimes? 1.3 MILLION dead in Iraq and 4,700 American troops dead due to his deceit and arrogant ambition and he gets a lifetime pension and lifetime free "socialized medical care". There is no justice in this country if that is his fate.

    October 27, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  20. KAREN

    Say what you will. This man has so much class honor and dignity, Something we are definately missing in this administration.

    October 27, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  21. Mark L.

    Former President GWB took on the wrong career. He was such a war-mongering President, he should put on the camoflouge uniform and go help our heroic men out in Afghanistan / Pakistan...Who knows, maybe he would be able to reign in Osama Bin Laden while he's at it...LOL...{:o)

    October 27, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. Chuck

    Bush tarnished everyone around him. Powell did have a shot at being a statesman for this country, but not anymore. He is going to have to go his grave defending this man because he did not stand up and refute him when he had the chance.

    I would not waste my time, if given a free ticket, to hear either one of them speak about anything.

    Worst President ever, period, history will be the judge.

    October 27, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    : "From a personal perspective, I don't see how you can be president without relying upon an almighty

    I believe in an Almighty. I also believe that my belief MUST be tempered with FACTUAL and accurate information BEFORE I make any decision involving the lives of millions. Think about it: if ANY other individual went around making the types of decisions that Bush did, ignoring factual input, he'd be called a crack-pot.

    October 27, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  24. Jon

    I bet he sucks at this job too.

    October 27, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  25. A. Goodwin

    As a Democrat, I have always respected Colin Powell. But his comment: "We are safer than we were before 9-11 because of President Bush." is simply wrong. I wonder if this was a case of simply wanting to be nice to his former boss, or if he actually believes this. We are safer...really? During the Bush years, we angered many nations...called some the "axis of evil". We thrown into two wars, one of which we know now was under false information...thousands of people have died – for what?

    We are not safer. My opinion of Colin Powell has drastically changed. He seemed like an open-minded person, but maybe I am wrong!!

    October 27, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
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