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. Steve in Denver

    Sign me up! I just miss having a Harvard and Yale graduate who can't pronounce nuclear, and who is so careless and lazy that he can't deliver any speech without sounding like a third grader.

    I'll bet he spent all of zero minutes preparing to give his $100k or better speech. Well, at least he is not speaking as our president. We went back to the smart man in the 2008 election.

    October 27, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. worriedmom

    I wish you success President Bush. I am sure that all the Liberals will be just foaming at the mouth here to put you down but they cannot deny you kept our country safe as long as you were in office.

    Not sure sure about the new guy!

    October 27, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Chanel

    I'm sure former Pres Bush is a nice guy and fun to listen to, but I would NOT pay him a dime for his advice on business... I'm just saying...

    October 27, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Sarah

    Bush motivational??? Ha. Ha. I'm laughing here!

    October 27, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Joe

    Are you kidding me? George W. Bush as a speaker let alone motivation speaker? Who is the naive crowd paying money to see him talk? This is insane.

    October 27, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. Death Assurance Companies

    You should have seen and heard the morons that paid to see this scam.W.C Fields was right,there is an idiot born every minute.

    October 27, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Mr. Meteoritical

    So this is what happened to retired Muppets?

    October 27, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. David

    Colin Powell, the former Bush Secretary of State who spared with many members

    Sparred. Suprisingly, this is the first typo I've found on CNN this week–I call that an improvement!

    October 27, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. Nancy

    I would love to hear GW Bush speak at a business siminar. He actually has a personality unlike the stuffed shirt that sits in the oval office now. Rudy and Colin would be great as well.

    October 27, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The President has no higher authority in his faith with the almighty than anyone else because the almighty doesn't recognize ones job title. Furthermore, to say faith guided your decisions, is not in line with what guided you in the wrong directions and to stay on the same course. My faith guides me in my decisions also and my faith also guides me when I'm going in the wrong direction. Mr. Bush needs to read what happens to those that disobey and then look at the disaster that occurred as a result.

    October 27, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Dave

    Anyone who pays for advice from someone with a record of nothing but abyssmal failure is a fool. But anybody who'd pay to hear Bush speak is a fool, anyway, so I guess he's got a built-in audience. At least the price is right... less than five bucks. You get what you pay for.

    As for relying on the almighty, I think that was Bush's main problem; he didn't put any thought into his actions because he trusted some supernatural being to just "miracle" everything into success.

    October 27, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. P Alfonso

    As a conservative, an ex-Republican and someone who voted for George W, twice, I am not fooled by politicians anymore. These people live in a different world and have little respect for the common American; including our soldiers who they send to fight and die in wars they have no intention of winning.
    We only have one political party that disguises itself as two. We need to clean up Washington of inbred politicians and CFR members and restore power to the people. Politicians will not do that, only the people will look out for the people. America needs a new political party that is representative of the people and not the world's oligarchy.
    They have enriched themselves while destroying our nation for 95% or our citizens. The reality is that the people no longer trust the government or politicians. Let's stop listening to their brainwash, get them out office and rebuild the nation they have destroyed.

    October 27, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Pete East

    It will be interesting to hear what Obama has to say in 2017. Or maybe 2013.

    October 27, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I wonder how many were there because they are conservatives. I also wonder why Powell said what he said; was he just being polite or are there some things that he actually believes that Bush did to safeguard us.

    October 27, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. G Wurm

    I cannot believe how ignorant the American public is. He can't even construct a sentence and they are having him be a motivational speaker.

    October 27, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. David

    Well, I'm happy he found his 🙂 I'd pay to hear him speak!

    October 27, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. rita

    Of course he would appear in San Antonio, Texas. After all, it is yet another military city with military installations and with military enthusiasts for our former Commander in Chief of at least one ideological war. He says that he is not worried about his popularity, but these speaking engagements sound like a public relations attempt to get ahead of his lagging post presidential legacy. I assume he will not be motivating adolescents around the world who are struggling with their sexuality. I assume he will not be motivating law students to hold fast to the ideas of habeas corpus. I assume that he will not be asking journalists to hold tight to their sources in an effort to expose misconduct in government.

    October 27, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. TCM

    Why not? If Obama can be president, and hire an even worse stammering and stuttering fool such as Gibbs...why can't Bush be a motivational speaker?

    October 27, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. e.c.coleman

    President Bush was a Great President!
    Wonder if the libs will attack his new job, as they did his presidency?
    President Bush has integrity, an outstanding character, and an earnestness that is unmistakeable and genuine. There is nothing phony or glib about George W. Bush.
    Can't think of anyone else in this Nation who could be a better Motivational Speaker. Hopefully, he will inspire not only our
    adults and young adults, but our teenage youth to seek
    higher and better education, jobs and future careers, instead of membership in a neighborhood gang.
    George W. Bush is a man of Honor, just like his Father and Mother, and this is not found in many persons who have entered the political arena. Perhaps the two Bush Presidents are the two Finest Presidents in History. Amercians have been Blessed to have two such fine men enter public service.
    Good Luck to President Bush!

    October 27, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |

    My personal opinion of Mr. Bush isn't one of admiration...I will be honest enough to say that. So just to give the former president a fair response only the Lord Almighty knows whats in your heart and on the day of judgement we will all know ,and there will be no more guessing or being judgemental of others, because who knows a mans heart and intentions towards policy, race, and the need to do the right thing better than the Lord.......

    October 27, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Reagan was wrong

    I feel motivated to plug my ears.

    October 27, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    What a fool!

    October 27, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Meredith Ladd

    Glad to see the President out and about. The Football Game on Sunday with his Dad and then reading this. Thank you Mr. President
    for every thing you did for us. I felt much safer when you were President. Now we are worried about not even getting the health care we need because of our age. Hopefully this to will pass as so many
    unsavory things have over the years. Hopefully if you are ever in California I'll be able to hear you speak. Good Luck to and your family.

    October 27, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Frozone

    Rightwing nutters can say what they want about Obama,but at $4.95 a ticket Bush is literally cheapening the office of President with his undignified speeches.

    October 27, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. next please

    When Obama is out of office, he will likely pursue a carear in golf, basketball or bowling. He may also do voice overs for audio books.

    October 27, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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