Tag Archives: Presidents

Happiness and the Greater Good: The Power of Giving Back

Marty Russo speaks with radio host Lisa Cypers Kamen about serving the greater good and giving back through action and influence.

Today I joined Lisa Cypers Kamen on her Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio show once again for a half hour discussion. Last time, we talked about how our founders saw happiness. Today we focused on how the State of the Union is about reflecting on progress, setting goals, and trying to bring together a diverse group of people to achieve joint success.

Listen to, “Happiness and the Greater Good: The Power of Giving Back” below to hear about:

  • The State of the Union’s history and evolution into what it is today
  • Reflecting upon a personal State of the Union to take stock of ourselves for the year
  • How to lay out a blueprint for yearly goals and come up with an action plan to accomplish these goals

Putting Lesson with President George H. W. Bush

President George H. W. Bush recently celebrated his 90th birthday by jumping out of an airplane.  Former Congressman Marty Russo reminiscences about some fun times they had in the sports arena.

Seeing the Politico article about President George H. W. Bush skydiving on his 90th birthday  reminds me of what a great competitor he has always been.

Putting Lesson with VP George HW Bush and Congressman Marty Russo on Air Force Two

Putting Lesson with VP George HW Bush and Congressman Marty Russo on Air Force Two

Some of my fondest personal memories in Congress were those days when I served as the regular paddle ball partner for President George H. W. Bush.  We played as a team in the House paddle ball courts for all eight years he was Vice President and continued for the four years of his presidency.  I can tell you that he always played to win.

This reminds me of a photo taken by the official White House photographer in 1984 when I was flying on Air Force Two.  The Vice President and I were relaxing and next thing I know, the VP asked me to give him a putting lesson in the aisle of the airplane.  He was always looking to gain a competitive edge and took any opportunity to hone his game.

This scene was memorialized a couple years ago in a USA Today article titled, Golf, Politics and Presidents Prove To Be Range Bedfellows, by Steve DiMeglio.  It’s a great story of how presidents and golf intersect and ends with a quote from a good friend of mine, Republican Senator Mike Oxley.  In the article Senator Oxley is talking about how sports enabled a lot of bi-partisanship in the Congress:

 At the very least, golf provides memories. One of Oxley’s favorites occurred on Air Force Two, when he was traveling with then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and Democrat Marty Russo, one of the best golfers ever to be a member of Congress.

“The VP was moaning and groaning about his putting. So one of the Secret Service guys went down into the hole and got his putter,” Oxley says. “There we were on the plane and he’s getting a putting lesson from Russo.

“It was a great moment of bipartisanship.”

Lectures on Politics at Loyola Marymount University

Former Congressman Marty Russo lectures on politics, the Congress and the Presidents he served under.

It was a pleasure to visit the beautiful campus of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA and talk with the students about politics, lobbying and how to make a difference in Washington.  We discussed the nature of leadership and influence and how our Democracy is designed to work through influence, not power.

Prezi on Leadership and Influence

Our Prezi on Leadership and Influence

It was fun to use a “Prezi” to take the class through the discussion that started with LMU, zoomed over to the Congress, made a side visit to the Jefferson Memorial, zoomed to The White House and then ended back at LMU.

In the Prezi slides at the Congress we talked about how many people have a misconception that our legislature works based on power — my view is that Congress works based on having influence.  The Jefferson Memorial slides offered a great place to talk about the founding of our country and the Declaration of Independence.  In the US we have a right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.  It is part of our 1st Amendment freedoms  That is the definition of what a lobbyist does.

Leadership and Public Service Award

Leadership and Public Service Award from some great LMU student leaders

The White House Prezi slides gave a good backdrop to stories about the four Presidents in office while I served in Congress.

As a product of the Jesuit educational system, I especially enjoyed ending with slides back at LMU with a discussion of “Servant Leadership.”  To be both a servant and a leader at the same time is the paradox at the basis of Jesuit education.

It was an honor to be presented with the “Leadership and Public Service Award.”

 

 

 

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