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Getting it Together

Neil Leifer, born 1942
Ronald Wilson Reagan, 6 Feb 1911 - 5 Jun 2004
George Herbert Walker Bush, 12 Jun 1924 - 30 Nov 2018
Jul 17, 1980
Chromogenic print
Image: 35.5 x 28cm (14 x 11")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Neil Leifer
Object number
Exhibition Label
George Bush was described by James Baker, then Ronald Reagan's chief of staff, as a "model vice president," dedicated and loyal to the president. Bush had strenuously competed with Reagan for the Republican presidential nomination and then accepted second place on the ticket. "The president must know," Bush asserted, "that he can have the vice president for him and he must not think he has to look over his shoulder." From a very different background than Reagan, Bush used his considerable social skills to adjust to the president's personality, and rarely expressed differing views in public. He worked at making his weekly lunches with the president a relaxed occasion, with casual conversation. "It was a respite," Bush recalled, and "I think he looked forward to them." Reagan appreciated Bush's loyalty and made him head of his crisis management team. This task was usually given to the secretary of state, but the president was more comfortable with Bush doing it.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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