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. Linda C in Cal

    Thank you President Bush for keeping America safe, Obama not so much!

    October 27, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Bruce

    Interesting that the headline is that Bush "debuted" as a motivational speaker... yet last week, he spoke twice here in Canada!

    October 27, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. Huh???

    Bush- a motivator????????????????????????
    Ha Ha Ha.............................

    October 27, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Amazing

    Are the left wing nuts on this board going to bash Colin Powell? Fact is Bush was way better for National security than Naive and apologetic Obama.........and the rest of the world knows it.

    October 27, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Darren

    George W. Bush as a motivational speaker? I guess it just shows that people will in fact pay for sand even if they live in the desert. Here's a guy who was less motivated to work than any president in history, as demonstrated by the amount of time he spent on R&R.

    And what motivation is he pitching? Be motivated to make decisions unilaterally, without including any dissenting voices in the discussion. Be motivated to be a below average student in school. Be motivated to use your family connections to bail you out of business failures. He did motivate me to respond to the article, so I guess that is something.

    October 27, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Ace

    Bush is a good man who was bashed relentlessly and he can take it. This figurine we have masquerading as a President now whines more than my youngest child. Since Obama is glaringly unprepared to be President he has to complain daily about his predecessor. Our supposed post-partisan Presidnet complaints magnify his weakness.

    October 27, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. talmag

    Not being a Bush fan in terms of him being a motivational speaker, I still wish him the best. Unlike the republicans of today, I did not vote for him the second time, however, I do not wish he fails at anything. He was our president and deserves some respect unlike the disrespect President Obama is being shown. He has been a gentleman since his leaving office and he is showing some class in that regard. I wish him a happy and a healthy life.

    October 27, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Four and The Door

    The point made by George Bush is a very good one. Presidents ( of both countries and companies ) need to be able to look past the decisions that will make them popular and make the decisions that are correct. This is not a bad time to put that message out there.

    October 27, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Angie in PA

    I was not honored that you were my President actually i was quite embarresed!

    October 27, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Erasmus

    He helped motivate millions of Americans to consider living in other countries. And Mr. President and Secretary Powell, with all due respect to the "we are safer now" mantra, where is Bin Laden and the rest of Al Queda? It is eight years and counting.

    October 27, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. liz

    The only thing George Bush could motivate me to do is barf! Why is anyone paying someone whose first language is gibberish to speak anywhere about anything? The man needs to be UNDER Club Fed, not gadding about being paid to spout his nonsense.

    October 27, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Grahame

    Oh Boy! Just can't wait to see George W Bush on Jerry Springer

    October 27, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. John

    I would not waste my energy listening to the great misrememberer.

    October 27, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. Mark

    That's great, I thought you guys were serious for a minute... You really had me going!! That's like Helen Keller starting a driving school...

    Ooohhh.. that's rich! You guys definitely got me there...

    October 27, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. ttbala

    Mr. Powell I am losing respect for you, for going there and praising this idiot president when he did nothing but bring distruction and sorrow to this country and the world, TELL ME SOMETHING MR POWELL, UNDER WHOS WATCH 9/11 HAPPENED, I am so sick and tired of you guys singing this same phrase day in and day out, and Mr. Bush, you did not bring DIGNITY AND HONOR to the office, you brought SHAME AND DISHONOR TO THE OFFICE.

    October 27, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. Gregg Primus/Arlington, Texas

    I'd rather take $4.95 and give it away than waste it on listening to this clown. Everyday when I here of the many job losses and home foreclosures, it reminds me of him. Not even Colin Powell could get me to listen to this trash.

    October 27, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Now that was a great president

    God bless you, President Bush. We miss your steady hand and strong leadership.

    October 27, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Laurie in Spokane

    Bush motivational? Hah!
    How's he going to motivate.....let's see......how to ride my Dad's coattails......how to get his country into two worthless wars.....how to ruin the economy......how to surround himself with worthless, seedy corrupt advisors.....shall I go on?

    October 27, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. ran

    His new job should be a prison cafeteria worker.

    October 27, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. MRM70

    Motivational speaker? He mangled the English language time and time again while President! Too funny.....

    October 27, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. concerned citizen

    What is this a comedy tour! lol!

    October 27, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Dick Cheney

    $4.95 for 20 min? What'd he talk about? How he got there? How his hotel room was? I told him to keep his galdurn mouth shut!

    October 27, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Florida Resident

    This has to be a joke – right? I can't believe Bush could motivate anybody or that they would willingly sit and listen to him!

    October 27, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. Carnell Of The Motor City!

    Hey! ...I Have Some Siminar Titles For Former President George W. Bush. "Lying, Cheating, & Stealing: ...It's More Than An Eddie Guerrero Wrestling Storyline, It's Was My Presidency!" "Fools Rush In: ...Just Look At My Success In Iraq And Afghanestan!" "Dick Cheney: The Quint-Essential Greatest Vice-President Who Ever Lived...Really?" & Finally Karl Rove: Many Tales Of The Cowardly Lyin'!

    October 27, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. answerman

    (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.")

    No wonder his whole 8 years was a disaster and the country is in the worst shape ever. If a person honestly believes there is a man who lives in the sky that made us all with his magic wand, then he or she should be automatically barred from any kind of public office. If we believe in absurdities we shall commit atrocities. Religion is biggest most damaging pack of lies in human history and has no place in the whitehouse or any place else where rational thinking is needed..

    October 27, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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