All the Best with Sam LeBlond
The George & Barbara Bush Foundation is proud to announce All the Best, a brand new weekly podcast hosted by one of the Bushes’ grandsons, Sam LeBlond. All the Best features interviews with the Bushes’ family, friends, former colleagues and fellow Points of Light with a special emphasis on service to others.
View the Full Episode List Below
Sep 16, 2020
All the Best host Sam LeBlond sits down with June Scobee Rodgers, the inspiring widow of Commander Dick Scobee — who was one of the seven space pioneers to perish in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy. Listen as June reveals the comfort that then-Vice President George H. W. Bush offered the families of the Challenger crew during that traumatic time and how it led to the establishment of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Today, there are Challenger Centers focusing on STEM education operating in 27 states and on three continents! Sam and June also chat about First Lady Barbara Bush and her ongoing support for this groundbreaking program that has touched over 5.5 million students around the world over the last 30 years. To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Sep 9, 2020
On this episode of "All the Best," Sam LeBlond sits down with Pulitzer Prize winning author and presidential historian Jon Meacham. Listen as the two discuss Meacham’s close relationship with the Bush family, the making of "Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush," eulogizing the 41st president, and why he recently took the time to speak at the Democratic National Convention. To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Sep 2, 2020
In this episode of "All the Best,” host Sam LeBlond talks to General Mark A. Welsh III, the Dean of The George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University — and before that, the 20th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. Few people are better situated to discuss the #AllTheBest theme of service than Dean Welsh. Listen as he discusses how he got the role of becoming a Dean, the expansion of The Bush School of Government and Public Service, and his ongoing promise to The Bush School’s namesake, President George H. W. Bush. To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Aug 26, 2020
On this episode of "All the Best", host Sam LeBlond is joined by Houston Texans' linebacker Brennan Scarlett. Listen as Brennan shares his inspiring journey to the NFL, and how his own family and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation's focus on family literacy and education for all inspired the origin of Brennan's nonprofit organization the "Big Yard.” Another can’t-miss, uplifting “All the Best” episode! To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Aug 19, 2020
On this episode of "All the Best", host Sam LeBlond is joined by David J. Ryder, who is The 39th United States Mint Director. Listen as the two discuss Ryder's close relationship with the Bush family, life on Air Force 2, and the fascinating process that resulted in George Herbert Walker Bush and his wife Barbara both being memorialized on United States coins. The Barbara Bush 2020 First Spouse Coin releases August 20th, 2020, and can be purchased by visiting usmint.gov. The George H. W. Bush Presidential $1 coin will be released later this year.
Aug 12, 2020
This week on "All the Best", Sam LeBlond talks with former New Hampshire Governor, John H. Sununu, who also served as George H. W. Bush's Chief of Staff. Listen as Governor Sununu reflects back on his years as Chief of Staff, one the greatest comebacks in political history (in the 1988 GOP Primary), and why the George H. W. Bush administration was one of the best this country has ever seen. To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Aug 5, 2020
On Sunday August 5th, 1990, President George H. W. Bush boarded Marine One and flew from Camp David to the White House South Lawn after an intense 72 hours of international consultations concerning Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Though it was still early in the crisis, the President had already decided Iraq’s aggression could not be rewarded, and after crossing the White House lawn that day famously declared to the White House Press Corps, “This will not stand. This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait.” In this episode, host Sam LeBlond recounts that historic day with Dr. Richard Haass, who served as Special Assistant to President George H. W. Bush and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the National Security Council. Listen as Dr. Haass reflects on the planning that became Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the legacy of the Bush Administration, plus a rare recording of the President aboard the Marine One helicopter on August 5, 1990. To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Jul 29, 2020
Host Sam LeBlond welcomes Andy Card back to "All the Best"! In addition to being President George H. W. Bush’s former deputy Chief of Staff and Secretary of Transportation, Sec. Card currently serves as the interim CEO of the George & Barbara Bush Foundation. Listen as he shares the wonderful history of how College Station, Texas, and Aggieland came to be the home of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Center — which comprises the George Bush School for Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George & Barbara Bush Foundation. Plus, Sec. Card gives an inside look at the upcoming plans for the Bush Center, including the arrival of the retired Union Pacific Engine 4141. To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Jul 22, 2020
Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, who served as Chief Legal Counsel to Vice President and President George H. W. Bush, joins host Sam LeBlond for the latest edition of All the Best. Listen as Ambassador Gray shares his unique insights into George Bush’s many contributions as Vice President during the Reagan administration — including his pivotal role in the Pershing missile deployment in West Germany in the early 1980s. Here on the eve of the 30th anniversary, Boyden also discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other key accomplishments of the first Bush administration. To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Jul 15, 2020
Join host Sam LeBlond and University of North Carolina Head Football Coach Mack Brown for this episode of "All the Best." Listen as the two talk about what a "new normal" will possibly look like for this upcoming college football season and Coach Mack Brown's commitment to service and giving back. Plus, Coach Brown recounts the moment when President George W. Bush called him to congratulate the Texas Longhorns on their NCAA Football Championship win in 2005 and their subsequent team visit to the White House. To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Jul 8, 2020
Former NFL pro-bowl running back Jonathan Stewart and his wife Natalie Stewart are our guests in this "All the Best" episode. The two own and manage a local media company, Charlotte Lately, and also serve their community through a variety of organizations including Inspire the Fire, Convoy of Hope, and Elevation Church. It's their commitment to service that truly keeps them grounded. The Stewarts share with host Sam LeBlond the myriad of service projects they are involved with, how they are advancing the interests of their community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role that faith plays in their lives. Plus, Jonathan and Natalie share their favorite memory of George H. W. Bush. To read the full transcript of this episode visit https://www.georgeandbarbarabush.org/podcast-transcript/.
Jul 1, 2020
NFL Pro Bowler Wade Smith has long valued the importance of literacy and in 2012 he started the Wade Smith Foundation focusing on education, advancing literacy, and providing scholarships to kids in both Dallas and Houston. Speaking of Houston and literacy, Wade and his Foundation have teamed up many times with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, as he discusses with Sam LeBlond on this week's episode of "All the Best". As an added bonus, Wade recounts his favorite NFL experience and gives his thoughts about the upcoming season. To read the full transcript of this episode click here.
Jun 24, 2020
Sportscaster and International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Pam Shriver joins our host Sam LeBlond for this week's episode of All the Best. Listen as Pam shares how she came to know President George H. W. Bush and his family, along with some of their most memorable tennis matches — including discussion of the President’s infamous “Ranking Committee." Plus, Pam remembers the highlights of her remarkable tennis career, what it was like to make the switch from athlete to broadcaster, and how tennis lends itself to service. To read the full transcript of this episode click here.
Episode 32. “May Your Future Be Worthy of Your Dreams": Barbara Bush’s Wellesley College Commencement Address
Jun 17, 2020
In this episode of “All the Best,” we commemorate the 30th anniversary of Barbara Bush’s historic commencement speech at Wellesley College in June of 1990. Host Sam LeBlond is joined by Ed McNally, former speechwriter for both President and Mrs. Bush, who recounts the lead-up, the delivery, and the universally positive reaction afterwards. (Spoiler Alert: NBC anchor Tom Brokaw called it “the best commencement speech I’ve ever heard.”) Don’t miss this special, behind-the-scenes look at history in the making. To read the full transcript of this episode click here.
Jun 10, 2020
As we celebrate President and Mrs. Bush’s birthdays, this very special episode looks back at some favorite memories shared by friends, colleagues and family on "All the Best". To read the full transcript of this episode click here.
May 27, 2020
On this special Memorial Day episode of "All the Best," Sam LeBlond welcomes Walker Bush, Grandson of George and Barbara Bush and son of Marvin and Margaret Bush. Listen as Walker shares his decision to serve in the Marine Corps, the lessons learned along the way and the unique relationships that are formed in the military. Plus, Walker reveals some of the difficulties former members of the military face and shares his favorite memories of his grandparents.
May 21, 2020
George P. Bush, grandson of George H. W. and Barbara Bush and also Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, joins his cousin Sam LeBlond for this week's "All the Best." George P. Bush shares how service has been a multi-generational family business, how his lifelong commitment to service grew into serving as an elected official as the Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office and all the things that position entails. Plus George P. remembers back to his college baseball days, the major leaguers he brushed shoulders with, and how the discipline he learned in baseball continues to guide him to this day.
May 13, 2020
Emmy award winning sportscaster Jim Nantz joins Sam LeBlond for this week's "All the Best," and shares how he met the Bush family and forged a wonderful friendship. Nantz also recounts his role in the historic friendship between President George H. W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, both George Bush and Jim Nantz's commitment to service and how the tenants of golf perfectly aligned with the tenants of 41. Plus, Nantz also shares his favorite Barbara Bush memory. To read the full transcript of this episode click here.
May 6, 2020
On this edition of "All the Best", Sam LeBlond welcomes Natalye Paquin, the President and CEO of the Points of Light Foundation. Listen as Natalye shares her path to a life of service and how she came to love the Points of Light and the values in which the organization is based. She also talks about how volunteerism has evolved in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, Natalye shares her favorite memory of George H. W. Bush.
May 1, 2020
In this episode of "All the Best,” host Sam LeBlond is joined by former Vice President Dan Quayle, who loyally and ably served as Vice President from 1989-1993. Listen as Vice President Quayle recalls his unique experience of being selected to be George H. W. Bush's running mate, and how their historic relationship evolved once elected to office during a historic period of globalization. The former Vice President also shares his optimism about the country’s future and a return to bipartisanship.
Apr 22, 2020
Michele Stanton, former personal aide to Barbara Bush, joins Sam LeBlond on this edition of “All the Best.” Listen as Michele reminisces on how she first came to meet the Bush family, what it was like to work for Barbara Bush, and one of her favorite memories: George H. W. Bush's Ocean Avenue block party in Maine. Plus, Michele shares her “pearl of wisdom” in honor of Barbara Bush's bestselling new book.
Apr 15, 2020
With this July marking 30 years since George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law, civil rights champion Lex Frieden joins All the Best to talk about the movement that led to the ADA becoming a reality. Listen to Lex share his life story, which includes a car accident during his freshman year in college which left him paralyzed and experiencing discrimination by being turned away from being admitted to the university of his choice due to his disability. Later, Lex worked with George H. W. Bush and other inspiring, like-minded advocates to make the ADA the world’s first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities. But the work is not finished.
Apr 8, 2020
"All the Best" host Sam LeBlond welcomes Julie Cooke to the show! Julie Cooke was the Director of Projects under First Lady Barbara Bush. Listen as the two discuss Barbara Bush’s legacy of family literacy for all, her enduring popularity, and why it's important to make every day count.
Apr 1, 2020
On this family edition of "All the Best," host Sam LeBlond is joined by his uncle Jeb, who served as Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. Listen as Governor Bush reminisces about growing up in the Bush family, the political life lessons he learned from his father George H. W. Bush and brother George W. Bush, the state of politics today. Governor Bush wraps up this revealing conversation sharing his optimistic thoughts on the future of our nation.
Mar 25, 2020
In this episode of "All the Best,” host Sam LeBlond is joined by British Robinson, the President & CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Starting even before her husband’s 1980 campaign for the presidency, Barbara Bush came to believe that helping more Americans, of all ages, learn to read would help more families achieve the American Dream. Listen as British Robinson shares how the Foundation continues to embody the legacy of Barbara Bush and how the mission continues to grow. Plus, Robinson talks about Mrs. Bush's inspiring new book "Pearls of Wisdom” — which is now a New York Times bestseller!
Mar 18, 2020
In this edition of "All the Best,” we continue celebrating the release of Mrs. Bush’s book, Pearls of Wisdom, as host Sam LeBlond talks with one of Barbara Bush’s top White House aides Ann Brock. Listen as Brock reminisces about joining the George H. W. Bush campaign for Vice President, her years as First Lady Barbara Bush’s Director of Scheduling, and the building of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library. Plus, Brock shares a valuable “pearl” in honor of the newly released Barbara Bush book: Pearls of Wisdom.
Mar 11, 2020
In this episode of All the Best, Jeb Bush, Jr., grandson of George H. W. and Barbara Bush, and son of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, reminisces with his cousin Sam LeBlond about fishing trips with their grandfather, summers in Maine, the best advice on marriage from his uncle George W., and the ongoing progress being made at the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, where he sits on the board of directors.
Mar 5, 2020
Listen as Quincy Crawford reminisces about her time as an aide for Barbara Bush and their special bond. Crawford also shares memories of the early days of The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, time spent at Walker's Point in Maine, and the "pearls" she contributed to the "Pearls of Wisdom" book in honor of Barbara Bush.
Feb 26, 2020
Ellie LeBlond Sosa, granddaughter of George H. W. and Barbara Bush and sister of "All The Best'' host Sam LeBlond, joins the show! Ellie LeBlond Sosa is a bestselling author, Executive Director of BB&R Wellness Consulting's annual Achieving Optimal Health Conference, and at one point also played a special role in being her grandfather's youngest credentialed staff member at just the age of three. Listen as the two siblings discuss favorite memories at the White House, what makes their Gampy and Ganny's love for each other so special, Ellie's favorite letter from Gampy, and excerpts from her book George & Barbara Bush: A Great American Love Story. Plus, exciting family news shared at the end!
Feb 19, 2020
This episode of “All the Best”, features award-winning country singer Reba McEntire. Listen as Reba shares the funny moment of how she first met George H. W. Bush, her favorite memories of both George and Barbara and the time Barbara Bush called her "dearie". Reba also shares some exciting updates about her upcoming podcast and concert tour!
Feb 13, 2020
Dr. Martin Murphy is the Chief Executive Officer of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, which was founded in 2001 by President and Mrs. Bush with a focused mission on making continual progress toward the elimination of cancer. In this episode, Dr. Martin Murphy shares how the CEO Roundtable on Cancer has expanded into China, what the CEO Cancer Gold Standard means, and the special moment Dr. Murphy was able to experience with the commissioning of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77).
Feb 5, 2020
Since their precious three-year-old daughter, Robin, was taken from them on October 12, 1953, fighting cancer became a high — and very personal — priority for George and Barbara Bush. In this episode, internationally renowned cancer specialist and former Commissioner of the U.S. FDA Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., recounts the moment he pitched the National Dialogue on Cancer to the Bushes — and how the mission continues. Dr. von Eschenbach also touches on the Human Genome Project and more.
Jan 29, 2020
In this episode of All the Best, Ambassador Chase Untermeyer reminisces on his relationship with George H. W. Bush that spanned over six decades. Ambassador Untermeyer says "George H. W. Bush was always a man in motion." Their relationship began when Chase Untermeyer was a campaign volunteer and intern under then-Congressman George H. W. Bush in the 1960s. Ambassador Untermeyer also reflects on his time as Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel, his favorite memories, and the admiration of how both George and Barbara Bush were pillars of the communities they lived in even during their post-White House life.
Jan 22, 2020
Ambassador Sichan Siv, former ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council from 2001 to 2006, tells the harrowing tale of how he escaped the Cambodian killing fields to the United States in 1976. Once in the U.S., he worked a variety of jobs and received a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University to fulfill his American Dream. He tells the story of how he first met George H. W. Bush and went on to serve in his presidential administration. Sichan shares his admiration for George H. W. Bush and says he was "truly the best one term president in our history."
Jan 15, 2020
In this episode, All the Best host Sam LeBlond is joined by cousin Lauren Bush Lauren. Listen as the two cousins reflect on favorite family memories with their Ganny and Gampy, Lauren's passion for giving back to others through her social enterprise FEED, her role within the Points of Light nonprofit foundation and more.
Jan 8, 2020
This week's episode of All the Best features Andy Card, former deputy chief of staff to George H. W. Bush and former chief of staff to George W. Bush. Andy Card reflects back on the 1980 presidential election, George H. W.'s role as Vice President and relationship with Ronald Reagan, the accomplishments of George H. W. Bush's four years as president and Barbara Bush's impact as first lady. Andy Card also shares candid details around the sometimes burden of the role of a commander in chief and an exciting special upcoming project for the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Jan 2, 2020
September of 2019, marked the 75th anniversary of the bombing of the Pacific Island of Chi Chi Jima. On George H. W. Bush’s 18th birthday he enlisted in service and became the youngest naval pilot out in the Pacific Island. During a mission to bomb the radio station at Chi Chi Jima, George H. W. was shot in the plane he was controlling, but survived and later became the president of the United States. Listen as renowned historical author James Bradley recounts the defining moment in history and his special friendship with George H. W. Bush.
Dec 25, 2019
This week's episode of All the Best features President George H. W. Bush's longtime chief of staff, Jean Becker. The former journalist took on the role of chief of staff beginning in 1994. Jean Becker supervised George H. W. Bush's office in both Houston and Kennebunkport, Maine, and oversaw the opening of the George Bush Presidential Library Center in 1997. Jean took a leave of absence in 1999 to edit and research “All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings.” Previously, Jean served as deputy press secretary to first lady Barbara Bush from 1989 to 1992 and helped Mrs. Bush with the editing and research for her books “Barbara Bush, A Memoir” and “Reflections.” Enjoy listening to Jean share how she became chief of staff, favorite memories with George and Barbara, defining moments during George H. W. Bush's presidency and more.
Dec 18, 2019
Over 30 years ago — on November 9, 1989 — the Berlin Wall technically became obsolete or “fell” when an East German bureaucrat declared that Germans could freely pass between borders. The question at that uncertain moment then became: how would the superpowers react, and would this hopeful moment lead to more freedoms … or end in a bloody crackdown? In November of 2019, together with the Ronald Reagan Institute, Georgetown University and the Atlantic Council, the George & Barbara Bush Foundation hosted “30 Years Later: Lessons From the Fall of the Berlin Wall.” This event explored the enduring lessons that the Fall of the Berlin Wall continues to teach. Listen now to former White House Press Secretary to both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, Marlin Fitzwater; former members of the White House press corps, Peter Maer and Gene Gibbons; and presidential historian, Jeffrey Engel, as they share more insight on the lessons stemming from that historic day.
Dec 11, 2019
In this episode of All the Best, we celebrate the inaugural presentation of The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards, which took place in September of 2019 in New York City. Neil Bush, who chairs the Points of Light Board of Directors, speaks on the importance of the organization and continuing the legacy of his father. Gala co-chair Lauren Bush Lauren shares a few special moments from this year's event. You will also hear from two of the very first George H. W. Bush Points of Light Award recipients, Khloe Thompson and Maria Rose Belding. Khloe was just eight years old when she started Khloe Kares to address the issue homelessness in Los Angeles. Maria Rose Belding, meanwhile, created the MEANS Database as a freshman at American University — and has since helped reroute nearly 2.8 million pounds of excess food to communities in need across the United States. To learn more about these inspiring Points of Light, listen now and then visit https://www.pointsoflight.org/.
Dec 4, 2019
In this episode of “All the Best", Sam LeBlond is joined by Dr. Roger B. Porter. From 1989 to 1993 Dr. Porter was the former Assistant to President H. W. Bush for Economic and Domestic Policy. Dr. Porter reveals how the 41st president came to be known as the “education president,” including his spearheading of the historic 1989 education summit, how his legacy inspired the recent celebration of the education summit’s 30th anniversary and the influence Barbara Bush had on education policy. Dr. Porter also shares his perspective of how President Bush’s 1990 budget deal put the United States on a glide path to the last balanced budget this country has seen.
Nov 27, 2019
In June of 2019, members of the George H. W. Bush family gathered at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas to celebrate what would have been the 41st president’s 95th birthday. There, over a dozen of the Bushes’ grandkids planned to continue a special family tradition — a birthday skydive! With November 30, 2019 marking one year since the passing of George H. W. Bush, listen as host Sam LeBlond and cousins George P. Bush, Jeb Bush Jr., Pierce Bush, and Lauren Bush Lauren reflect on their grandfather's funeral, favorite family memories at Walker's Point, George H.W. and Barbara’s Bush’s commitment to service, and more.
Nov 18, 2019
In this episode of All the Best, Sam LeBlond is joined by his uncle (the youngest son of George H. W. and Barbara Bush), Marvin Bush. In addition to remembering his favorite personal memories with both George H. W. and Barbara Bush, Marvin recalls how his father was the inventor of “quality time” and the devotion and admiration his parents had for each other. Marvin also recounts the events that led up to George H. W. Bush accepting the position of Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China and says what he believes to be George H. W. and Barbara Bush’s greatest legacies.
Nov 18, 2019
Sam LeBlond welcomes his uncle (and son of George H. W. and Barbara Bush), Neil Bush, to this episode of All the Best. Neil talks about how he attributes everything he learned about service to his parents, George H. W. and Barbara Bush, and currently serves as the chairman to both the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and the Points of Light (who just celebrated the first annual George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards Gala). Neil also reminisces about how his parents always made family a priority — especially during the White House years — and shares some of his favorite memories with George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush.
Nov 18, 2019
In the inaugural episode of All the Best, Sam LeBlond sits down with his mother (and daughter of George H. W. and Barbara Bush) Doro Bush Koch. Doro reveals what it was like to be the only woman in American history to have both her father and brother serve as president of the United States. She also discusses her journey to write, My Father, My President, her personal account of her father’s life, which in many ways acted as George H. W. Bush’s memoir. Doro also remembers how her parents instilled the importance of service in their family growing up, which continues to inspire her to live a service-filled life to this day anchored in her chairing the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.