BUFFALO, NY - It was back in 1991 when 30-year-old Michael Caputo was hired as director of media services for President George H.W. Bush's re-election campaign.
"I was one of many young people around the President those days and it was really remarkable how much he enjoyed being around people who were in their 20's and 30's," said Republican Strategist Michael Caputo.
Caputo says he remembers President Bush was always good natured during the two years he worked for him.
"He was always someone you can count on with a smile. Even in tough times and stressful times he seemed very cognizant of the idea that he was trying to leave a good impression and trying to lead by example the young people that worked around him," said Caputo.
Although Bush would eventually lose to Bill Clinton, Caputo says never lost his sense of hope and optimism. Largely he believes because of his wife Barbara. He recalls a conversation between Bush and his wife at the end of the campaign about life after the presidency.
"He said I'm really going to miss this, and she said, "You know everything is going to be great. We're going to go back home, we're going to be with our kids and our grandkids, and we're going to really enjoy out life'. And he turned to her with a smile and said, 'You're looking forward to this, aren't you? And she said you bet I am," said Caputo.
"It really hit me hard. I mean, yeah it was expected, but he was such a great guy," said Canisius College Political Science professor Kevin Hardwick.
Hardwick says throughout the highs and lows of his presidency from Desert Storm to his loss to Bill Clinton, Bush always maintained grace and class. He recalls a gesture from Bush to Clinton following his defeat.
"On January 20, 1993, there was a letter for him waiting there from George Bush and Bush made it clear that he was rooting for Clinton. I mean, you just don't see that anymore," said Hardwick.
Harwick says despite some missteps he believes Bush will be remembered as a President who always followed his heart and always tried to what was right for America and the world.
"I think history will view him as one of the most effective one term presidents we've ever had," said Hardwick.