A woman named Rosyln Corrigan claims Bush the Elder pulled his photo ass grab move on her way back in 2003. She was sixteen at the time which makes it worse. Corrigan is publicly calling herself “a child” at the time, which makes it much much worse.
The allegation is not totally without evidence, as there’s an actual photo of Corrigan, and her mom, standing aside the then spry 79-year old ex-President. The photo was taken at a CIA office in Texas where Bush was visiting to rally the intelligence troops, and where Corrigan’s father worked. Also she’s the sixth woman to make such a claim. Though the first from an era before H.W. was in a wheelchair and everybody could write off the squeezes as a side effect of the senility. This was Herbert Walker a year before he went skydiving for his 80th.
Corrigan’s mom confirms that her then sixteen year old daughter told her in shock about the ass grab to her moments after the photo was snapped. Her mom thought she was kidding. This wasn’t Clinton. Outside of some bloody staged coups in foreign lands, H.W. Bush was known as the kindly sweet husband to his grandmother, Barbara.
My initial action was absolute horror. I was really, really confused. The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, ‘Hey dude, you shouldn’t have touched me like that?’”
Corrigan recalls the precision of Bush’s groping. Waiting until the cameraman hit “three” on his countdown. She suggests it’s the reason she’s smiling so broadly in the resulting photo. Stunned bemusement.
Every sexual harassment and sexual assault and telling of dirty jokes accusation during the current flood has to be judged by smell test. None to almost none of these encounters ever have firm evidence, nor were any ever adjudicated, let alone made public at the time. This one smells pretty solid. The old man seemed to have a fondness for old man discreet ass pats. Not an enormous deal by male standards, but the teenage girl thing and daughter of a CIA officer at an official event seems particularly tawdry.
There was never any reason to imagine George H.W. Bush was a strong President. He was largely horrible on all fronts. But he had that super decent grandpa reputation that turned him into a beloved figure post-Presidency. That’s largely gone now. And, no, that’s not the least bit unfortunate.
Photo credit: Time magazine