A Bush family statement released on New Year's Eve, Tuesday Dec. 31, 2013 made public that beloved former First Lady Barbara Bush was hospitalized on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas Medical Center. She still remained in the hospital through New Year's Day Jan. 1, 2014. The former First Lady 88, went to the hospital because of a "respiratory-related issue," which is possibly pneumonia. The news of her illness prompted President Barack Obama and Former President Bill Clinton to send well wishes on Wednesday morning, Jan 1, 2014.
Former President Bush' s spokesman Jim McGrath issued two statements on the "Bush family matriarch" saying she was hospitalized for a "respiratory-related issue" and that there was "nothing new to report" in his latest statement on Jan. 1, 2014. In his first statement McGrath issued on New Year's Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 McGrath said Mrs. Bush "is in great spirits, has already received visits from her husband and family, and is receiving fantastic care."
Bush is the wife of the 41st President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993), the mother of the 43rd President George W. Bush (2001-2009), and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is considered a possible 2016 Republican Presidential candidate. The Bushes live in Houston. None of the family members have made any public statements on the former First Lady's health. Only Bush's granddaughter, George W. Bush's daughter Jenna Bush Hager retweeted a well wish from fellow NBC Today correspondent Al Roker.
Bush's illness has caused an outpouring of well wishes for from President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, who succeeded President Bush, winning the 1992 Presidential election over the Republican incumbent.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement wishing former First Lady Bush to get well soon on Jan. 1; "Michelle and I send our best wishes to Mrs. Bush for a speedy recovery. Barbara is blessed to have both a loving, supportive family by her side and a vibrant spirit that we hope will have her feeling better soon. I know I speak for Americans everywhere when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara and her family on this New Year's Day." The Obamas are still in Hawaii enjoying the holiday season, they return to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 5.
Former President Bill Clinton went modern using Twitter to send Barbara Bush well wishes and sending it to her husband's new Twitter handle, which he opened earlier in December to send condolences to former South African President Nelson Mandela's family on the day of the memorial, which the Bushes could not attend. Clinton tweeted; "I'll be rooting for Barbara Bush's full recovery while she's rooting for Baylor today. All the best to her and to @GeorgeHWBush." Clinton's remarks referred to the New Year's Day Fiesta Bowl where Baylor University's football team was playing against University of Central Florida.
Former First Lady Bush has not been hospitalized since 2010 after relapsing from Graves Disease, which she has had since 1989. Mrs. Bush has also had recently heart surgery and a perforated ulcer. However, it was her husband Former President Bush who was last hospitalized with a related illness last holiday season for a "bronchitis-related cough" where he remained hospitalized for almost two months and was released last January. Bush recently returned to the Obama White House in July 2013 for a ceremony honoring the 5000th Points of Light award recipients, an award he created while he was President.
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. Her specializations are US, Canadian & Israeli politics.