The Note: George Bush’s death marks distance between 41 and 45

The list of GOP presidents will always include a stretch of Bush, Bush, Trump.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The list of Republican presidents will always include a stretch that reads Bush, Bush, Trump. And history will record just three presidencies between the 41st and the 45th.

It may be inconvenient to recall this week, but Trump hijacked their shared political party as a reaction to Bush and his son. Trump's rise was a repudiation of political dynasties, of post-Cold War notions of American leadership and of visions of a "kinder and gentler" nation of which the late president so famously spoke.

When Bush died, Trump was disrupting his way through a summit of foreign leaders while actively pushing to unwind NAFTA, a trade deal Bush helped negotiate.

Bush's death quieted the political moment. The potential shutdown only Trump has really wanted is almost certain to be delayed past this week. And Trump's participation in Bush celebrations will minimize public tensions between the Bush family and the current president.

But Trump was elected to undo much of what George H.W. Bush stood for. This national remembrance will only emphasize how far politics have shifted since the late president held office.

The RUNDOWN with Adam Kelsey

America's political divisions have become so stark and all-consuming that it's almost difficult to remember a time when a presidential candidate could build a winning electoral map that included 80 percent of the states.

George H.W. Bush's 1988 election victory, in which he carried 40 states, may be the last time we ever witness a candidate garner more than 400 votes in the Electoral College.

Buoyed, of course, by the popularity of Ronald Reagan, who topped 500 electoral votes himself in 1984, Bush achieved the rare feat of keeping the White House within his party following a two-term presidency.

The last Republican to win now-liberal strongholds like California, New Jersey and Vermont, Bush forever will be remembered as one of the final presidents to oversee an era of political moderation and compromise.

The 1988 margin made Bush's 1992 defeat to Bill Clinton all the more surprising, one that could have defined Bush's legacy. But his decision to embrace his successor, forge an unlikely friendship and help those in need in the aftermath of the world's natural disasters instead became the embodiment of the patriotism and selfless that voters in those 40 states found so appealing in 1988.

The TIP with John Verhovek

Ever since the 2016 election, a growing chorus within the Republican Party, egged on by Trump, has warned of the pernicious effects of election and voter fraud.

But the recent revelations about potential irregularities in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, where the result in a close congressional contest has now been thrown into doubt, presents a potentially embarrassing scenario for a Republican Party that's harped on the issue for years.

After facing criticism for his tweets critical of Trump, the chairman of the North Carolina Board of Elections stepped down over the weekend, in a move he said was to avoid any distractions from tainting the investigation into the alleged activities of the campaign of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris, who won a 905-vote victory over Democrat Dan McCready in one of the most competitive races of the cycle.

A public hearing is set to be held sometime in the next three weeks, and what that hearing exposes could spell a huge embarrassment for the GOP and the President.

If what is alleged to have taken place happened in a race where a Democrat came out on top, it's hard to imagine President Trump would remain silent, as he has in this instance.


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Monday morning's episode features a look back at the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush as told through the eyes of presidential photographer David Valdez. ABC News' Trish Turner and Mike Levine explain what happens next to Paul Manafort and the special counsel investigation. And ABC News' Jordana Miller discusses the new charges being brought by police against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


  • Former President George H.W. Bush's remains will leave Houston and arrive at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland at 3:30 p.m. EST. An arrival ceremony will be held at the U.S. Capitol at 4:45 p.m. and then Bush will lie in state until Wednesday morning.
  • President Donald Trump receives an intelligence briefing at 11:30 a.m.
  • Trump meets with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson at 1:45 p.m.
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