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George W. to Jeb: We need a Bush in the White House in 2016

Calls his relationship with Cheney ‘cordial’

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As President Bush prepares for Thursday's opening of his library on the campus of Southern Methodist University, he's already pushing his younger brother Jeb to begin the next chapter of the Bush family political legacy.

Politico got an early look at Mr. Bush's sit-down interview with C-SPAN's Steve Scully scheduled to air Wednesday night and came away with the impression that former George W. Bush seemed content and at peace with his seclusion and distance from Washington. But that didn't stop him from encouraging his younger brother to dive into Washington politics head-first by making a White House run in 2016.

"My first advice is run," he said. "My advice would be surround yourself with good people, create an environment in which they don't feel like they need to walk in and pander to you, but they can walk in and give you their frank opinions … I tell people in audiences a key component of a leader is someone who understands what he doesn't know and then finds people and places them on a team who do know what he doesn't know."

C-SPAN also asked Mr. Bush what his relationship is like now with former Vice President Dick Cheney, who expanded the role and influence of the No. 2 White House position in unprecedented ways.

Mr. Bush said he and Mr. Cheney are still on good terms but don't see each other much, describing their relationship as "cordial."

"You know, it's been cordial — but he lives in Washington and we live in Dallas," Mr. Bush said, sitting next to his wife, Laura. "I don't see him — much. And I don't see many of the people I worked with much, and it's kind of sad. It's great to be in Texas, however."

As far as his legacy and the role the library will serve, Mr. Bush said he believes his administration was 'deliberative' and historians will make that determination if they look over his papers. But he also stressed his desire to make sure the library is more than just an archive — that the Bush Institute at the university would help promote and keep him engaged in issues he cares deeply about, such as AIDS and cervical cancer in Africa.

"I'm out of politics, but I'm not out of policy," he said.

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