March 14th, 2013
12:30 PM ET
10 years ago

George H.W. Bush and the flash mob

(CNN) - It started with one, then two, and the next thing you know, it was a flash mob.

Students at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University surprised former President George H.W. Bush with a "Bush-whack Boogie" flash mob during Bush's first visit to the school since his recent hospitalization.

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"We as students, we always try to find some sort of way to honor him to thank him for everything he's done for us," Carly Hilley, one of the student organizers of the "Bushwhack Boogie," told Soledad O'Brien on Thursday on CNN's "Starting Point."

Hilley said they came up with the idea to do a flash mob as a tribute to the former president last fall and began practicing about a month and a half ago.

Bush was visiting the school that bears his name on March 1 when country duo Brooks & Dunn's song "Boot Scootin' Boogie" started playing. A young man yells, "Yeehaaaww," and starts line dancing in front of Bush. Soon others join in.

The 88-year-old Bush sat on his red mobility scooter looking a bit bewildered at first, but soon the confused look turned into a smile. Barbara Bush pulled out her iPhone and started recording the dance.

"That's a flash mob, Grandpa," Jenna Bush Hager can be heard telling her grandfather at the end of the performance.

"Of all the flash mobs I have ever seen this was the best," NBC reported Bush saying to his granddaughter, a correspondent for the "Today" show.

Bush Hager says to him, "The best?"

Bush says, "Yes, the very best."

Bush Hager asks, "Was this the only one you've seen?"

It was also the only flash mob Bush had ever seen.

The Bushes enjoyed the tribute so much that they stayed an extra 30 minutes to shake hands with the students.

Bush was recently discharged from a hospital in Houston where he spent several weeks receiving treatment for bronchitis, a bacterial infection and a persistent cough.

While in the hospital, Bush cheered on the Texas A&M and the Houston Texans football teams to victories and enjoyed a special performance by the Oak Ridge Boys via telephone. His exchanges with doctors and nurses included singing, spokesman Jim McGrath said.

Filed under: George H.W. Bush
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. PJ

    Good for them! GHW is a good person, and I'm happy to see this group honor him. I like him and Mrs. Bush and
    I'm not a Republican.

    March 14, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Jason

    Funny, they are using Pres. Carter's Habitat for Humanity to honor Pres. Bush! How neat is that.

    March 14, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    I felt sorry for the guy. "Poor George" I'm glad he didn't take ill facing the sudden excitement. Grand-daughter should be more observant and cognizant of the Granddad's health. He looked positively flustered.

    March 14, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. a little sad

    Not really a fan of the Bushes, but this was a very nice tribute to a living former president. Way to go, kids!

    March 14, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    "That's a flash mob, Grandpa," Jenna Bush Hager

    "so now that it's over, let's take you home so I can go out and get hammered. Hey where's my Secret Service detail?"

    March 14, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |