Tyler native Sarah McClendon: ‘Bush’s record was a departure from that of many presidents’

McClendon covered presidential politics for 50 years
McClendon spent a half-century covering presidential politics.
McClendon spent a half-century covering presidential politics.(KLTV)
Updated: Dec. 4, 2018 at 6:39 PM CST
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - During his time at the White House, President George H.W. Bush was often questioned by a Tyler native who spent a half-century covering presidential politics.

Born in Tyler at the now historic McClendon house, Sarah McClendon went on to become the first woman admitted into the Washington Press Club. she was a journalist known for asking tough questions that others would not.

“Mr. President! Mr. President! That’s what she would always jump up and say during the news conferences,” said Rob Jones, a McClendon House board member. “She was quite a firebrand. They kind of hated to call on her because they knew, the president knew, she was going to come forth with some pretty tough questions for them.”

McClendon covered the White House for a half-century and had a syndicated column that was distributed to about 400 newspapers at one time.

In one of her books, McClendon spoke about former President George H.W. Bush.

“Perhaps George Bush’s greatest contribution to the nation during his presidency was the way he organized this international coalition of heads of states. It was maintained by frequent telephone calls from one head of state to another in a time of crisis.”

McClendon went on to say, “Bush’s record was a departure from that of many presidents. He dared to do things that many others had not done.”

McClendon died in 2003. Along with “Mr. President! Mr. President!" she also published another book called, “My Eight Presidents." That number ended up being more like a dozen by the end of her career.

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