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Memories of Bush humor brought smiles to sorrowful farewell

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By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Memories of George H.W. Bush's underappreciated sense of humor drew laughter and brought smiles to the sorrowful mourning of the death of American's 41st president.

Presidential historian Jon Meacham recounted how comedian Dana Carvey once said that the key to doing his iconic impersonation of Bush was to mimic "Mr. Rogers trying to be John Wayne."

That prompted chuckles that rang from the vaulted arches inside the Washington National Cathedral.

Meacham said once on the primary campaign trail in New Hampshire, Bush mistakenly grabbed the hand of a department store mannequin asking for votes. Meacham said, "When he realized his mistake, he said 'Never know. Gotta ask.'"

The former president, who died Friday at age 94, often had tongue-twisted moments and uttered funny one-liners.

Looking ahead to the 1988 election, Bush once said: "It's no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or the other." And Meacham said that late in his presidency, Bush's tongue ran amok when he said: "We are enjoying sluggish times, but we're not enjoying them very much."


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