Former President George H.W. Bush is among 15 people selected to be awarded the presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced Wednesday night.
The Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, is awarded for “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
A White House announcement specifically lauded Bush’s work with former President Bill Clinton on charitable initiatives.
The move was widely expected to be seen as a bipartisan gesture from Obama to Republicans on Capitol Hill, fresh off a round of mid-term elections that ended Democrats’ House majority but left them in control of the US Senate.
The announcement was made a day after former President George W. Bush respectfully declined to criticize President Obama, during a press conference in Dallas at the future site of the Bush library.