Try to reconcile this Richard Ben Cramer, Pulitzer Prize-winning excerpted account (from "What It Takes") the 1960s George Bush with the evil George Bush who masterminded the JFK assassination:
No wonder they loved him and talked about the way he was—how a man like that could be so nice. He’d pick up the phone himself if it rang more than twice, and he’d listen to some voter’s tale of woe. (“No,” he’d say into the phone. “No, that doesn’t sound right at all. We’ll look into it, right away. No! Thank you for calling!”) Same with the mail: answers by return post. Aleene would cram his battered briefcase every night; there might be thirty or forty letters typed up. He’d sign every one and add a couple of lines in his lefty scrawl. The Capitol postman told Aleene that Bush got more mail than anyone else in the Longworth Building. (That’s because he sent more. One Houston lady wrote him a letter. So he wrote her back. So she wrote to thank him for his response. So he wrote her back, thanking her for her thank-you note. Finally, she sent him a letter that said: “You remind me of my aunt, Mrs. Ponder. She just won’t stay written to.”)
This wasn’t exactly politics with Bush; more like life. The day his moving van arrived in Washington, it was a terrible snow. George sent Barbara off to Sears, through the storm, to buy sheets so the movers could stay the night: He insisted! Don Rhodes was a volunteer on his campaign in Houston. Rhodes had a hearing problem, and people thought he was strange, maybe slow-witted. (He wasn’t.) Bush not only took him along for the Washington staff—he moved Don into his house. He fussed over visitors to his office, posing for pictures, leading tours of the Capitol, making sure they got to see everything in Washington. And wasn’t it great how it worked out? Bush inherited a couple of staff ladies from the Texas Democrat who used to represent his part of Houston—so of course they knew the crowd in LBJ’s White House. They’d call up and get special tours—not just of the state rooms, but of the Family Quarters. (That picture of George Hamilton on Lynda Bird’s night table!) Well, you put that together with a ride on Bush’s boat (George just had to show them how the city looked from the Potomac) and Bar’s picnic (with the pâté, wine, and salad) and … no wonder he was unopposed!
In fact, that was one reason he could cast his vote on the 1968 open-housing bill: Bush knew he would face no opponent in November. Still, there’d be a howl of protest. In the gym, Sonny Montgomery told him, “Your district ain’t gonna like this.” Bush didn’t need analysis from Sonny. For God’s sake, some of Bush’s voters wouldn’t ride in a car that a Negro had sat in, play the same golf course. Bush agonized for weeks.
What stuck in his mind was Vietnam: those soldiers, black soldiers, in the jungle, in the uniform of their country. How could he let them come back to a nation where they couldn’t live where they chose? He could not. He couldn’t let politics change the way he was.
So he voted for the bill. He meant to take the heat.
But this wasn’t heat. This was ugly. First the calls—les gals had to hear them:
“You tell Bush we don’ need no Connecticut Nigra-lovers.”
“Are you half nigger-blood too?”
Then the letters—thousands of letters. Don Rhodes was up all night trying to get out answers. But how could Bush answer?
“It’s Communist says who I can sell my house to.”
“I know niggers are running the government.”
The threats menaced his staff and his family. One letter mentioned his children by name. After a week, Bush looked like he’d aged ten years. His face sagged. There was no excitement in his words or walk. ...
So he told them that he knew what they thought. He told them that he knew some people called him lib-rull. But it wasn’t conservative or liberal, this vote. It was just fairness. He told them about Vietnam—those soldiers, how could he let them come back? How could you just slam the door in a guy’s face, just ’cause he’s a Negro, or speaks with an accent?