In his first run for the presidency, George H.W. Bush won the first-in-the nation Iowa caucuses in 1980, but then lost the GOP nomination to Ronald Reagan.
But winning the Iowa caucuses bestowed on him the imprimatur of a candidate to be reckoned with, and Reagan selected Bush as his vice president and together they claimed two terms in the White House.
Bush’s second run at the presidency got off to a bad start. In 1988, he lost the Iowa Republican caucuses badly to Bob Dole and Pat Robertson. But he regained his footing and went on the win the presidency, serving one term until being defeated by Bill Clinton in 1992.
Friday, 30 years after being elected president, Bush died at age 94.
Saturday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered flags at all public facilities to be flown at half-staff for 30 days.
Here are some statements and messages of reaction from prominent Iowans:
“America lost a great leader with the passing of George H.W. Bush. A man whose legacy is one of service, statesmanship and values. Last night, we didn’t just lose a patriot who dedicated his life to serving America, but also a loving husband, father and grandfather who now leaves behind a grieving family. Our hearts and our prayers continue to go out to the Bush family. It is my hope that as a nation, we will remember his legacy and as leaders in public service, we will work to meet the standard he set for many years to come.”
— Gov. Kim Reynolds
“President George H.W. Bush led an incredible life. He served with distinction as a naval aviator in World War II, flying 58 combat missions. He represented his community and neighbors as a congressman. He built bridges as an American diplomat in China. He helped keep our nation safe as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. He honorably served as vice president to President Ronald Reagan and then himself led our nation as America’s 41st president. He will be remembered not only for his professional achievements, but for the warmth and kindness he showed to his friends and political opponents alike. President Bush will be missed, but his life and service to our nation will be celebrated. ...”
— U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley
“I join the nation today in honoring our nation’s 41st president, George H.W. Bush. He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, a veteran and a true American leader. Like our forefathers who came before him, George H.W. Bush was committed to furthering the ideals that this country was built upon, in a way that will transcend his life. He showed us that relationships matter, people matter, freedom matters. When I was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom, all Kuwaitis, especially the police force, were so appreciative of Americans and viewed George H.W. Bush as their savior. His commitment to sharing the American value of freedom and democracy with the Kuwaiti people helped secure America’s partnerships with the region ever since. We owe so much of our nation’s enduring peace, security and prosperity to George H.W. Bush, and, I personally am ever grateful for his leadership and service to our country ...”
— U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst
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“Very saddened to hear of President Bush’s passing. From the military to the Oval Office, he served our country with honor and dignity.”
— U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack
“ ... As President, George H.W. Bush led with great compassion during a tumultuous time in our nation’s history. Forty-one implemented foreign policy that saw through the breakup of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Kuwait. Our country, and the world, owe President Bush a debt of gratitude, and we will be forever thankful for the his lifelong service to this nation.”
— Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann