Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Two presidents watch as the coffin of Barbara Bush is placed in a hearse. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

From historian Jon Meacham's eulogy for Barbara Pierce Bush — "the first lady of the Greatest Generation — during yesterday's funeral at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston:

"From the White House to Camp David to Walker’s Point, in hours of war and of peace, of tumult and of calm, the Bushes governed with congeniality, with civility, and with grace. Instinctively generous, Barbara and George Bush put country above party, the common good above political gain, and service to others above the settling of scores."
  • "Barbara Bush was the first lady of the Greatest Generation. As the fiancée and then the wife of a World War II naval aviator, she waited and prayed in the watches of the night."
  • "During the war she worked at a nuts-and-bolts factory in Port Chester, New York, doing her part. And she joined George H.W. Bush in the great adventure of postwar Texas, moving to distant Odessa — 70 summers ago."
  • "And as the wife of one president and as the mother of another, she holds a distinction that belongs to only one other American: Abigail Adams, who was present at the creation."
  • "The couple had met at a Christmas dance in Greenwich in 1941, not quite three weeks after Pearl Harbor. She was wearing a red-and-green holiday dress; he endeavored to get introduced. She was 16; he was 17. He was the only boy she ever kissed. Her children, she remarked, always wanted to throw up when they heard that."
  • "When she once unwisely described a female political opponent of her husband’s [Geraldine Ferraro] as a word that rhymed with 'rich,' she reported her family had started referring to her as the 'Poet Laureate.'"
  • "And she loved the story of how, when her eldest son, the 43rd president, took up painting, his instructor asked him if he’d ever used the color 'burnt umber.' No, Bush 43 replied, but he didremember that from his mother’s cooking. 'Brings down the house,' she’d say, approvingly."
  • "Mother and son needled each other to the end. In her final days, while the 43rd president was visiting, Mrs. Bush asked one of the doctors if they’d like to know why George W. was the way he was, announcing: 'I smoked and drank while I was pregnant with him.'"

Go deeper: Official site with biography, timeline and more.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.