On Valentine's Day, one of George Bush's grandchildren trekked innocently into the president's office to give grandpa a card.
The touching moment wasn't contrived by some image strategist for the benefit of the press, Bush's image maker and special assistant said Thursday.Utah native Stephen M. Studdert said geniune values of family and faith are embraced by Barbara and George--and will affect the policies of the Bush administration.
"What you see on television of George Bush is the real George Bush. He is very personable," Studdert, assistant to the president for special projects, told Utah Republicans Thursday. "If he could have met personally with every American who voted he would have taken 99 percent of the vote. He's a very genuine, down-to-earth person, who likes people.
"He and Ronald Reagan are very much alike in that regard. In fact, they are best friends."
Studdert, a Spanish Fork native, former Brigham City police chief, Bountiful City Council member and special assistant to three presidents, keynoted the Salt Lake County Republican Party's annual Lincoln's Day fund-raising dinner Thrusday night.
Earlier, he gave members of the Elephant Club a review of America's new workaholic president, who, after only four weeks in office, is "paving new ground and tackling tough problems."
"He's tackling such tough problems as the $100 billion savings and loan crisis he inherited," Studdert said. "He had the courage in the first three weeks of the presidency to grasp hold of that and take strong action. He has taken some criticism for that, but it's a signal of the kind of leadership you are going to see from George Bush."
Studdert said that during a time when Americans could sit back and rest on their stronger economic laurels, Bush will be addressing "pockets" of economic problems--like those that exist in Utah.
He'll also work to pull the line on taxes, increase capital investments, bring down the budget deficit.
High on Bush's agenda, said Studdert, is ethics in government--setting standards for those who govern, work in government and are served by government.
Bush, in fact, has appointed a bipartisan commission to set ethics standards among all branches of the deferal government, including Congress.
At the same time, the president will address with Congress the laborious process by which people are cleared to serve in the administration. "It is becoming so cumbersome and difficult that good men and women are declining the invitation to serve."
Studdert, who traveled with candidate Bush every mile of the campaign, said the president will leave next week for a five-day trip to Japan, Korea and China. In Japan he'll hold bilateral meetings with several heads of state.