Former United States President George W. Bush has unwittingly completed the Ice Bucket Challenge, per request of his daughter Jenna Bush Hager, American philanthropist and businessman Woody Johnson, and professional golfer Rory McIllroy. Bush took to Facebook to share the video of him being doused with water by his wife Barbara.
The video begins with Bush acknowledging the many requests for his completion of the event, and expresses his support for the cause. However, he went on to say that he did not feel getting a bucket of ice dumped upon him was presidential, and that he would instead write a check for the ALS foundation. His wife seemed to have other ideas, immediately sneaking up behind him and drenching him with icy water. After the initial shock, the former President took the surprise with good humor, laughing alongside his wife. Upon finishing the challenge, the Texas native enlisted fellow former President Bill Clinton to participate in the icy event.
Bush is not the first president to be involved in the challenge, although he is the first one to actually have ice water poured upon him. He is also the only president so far to record his response to the challenge on video. Current United States President Barack Obama has been challenged by several celebrities, most recently including Canadian pop star Justin Bieber (who, incidentally, was shown to have cheated on the challenge himself). Although Obama declined to participate in the water drenching itself (it is speculated that he too did not feel as though the event was entirely appropriate for his political standing), he did agree to donate the suggested $100 to ALS instead.
The popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge seems to know no bounds, sweeping the world since July as dozens of celebrities and high-profile entertainers have recorded themselves completing the task. The challenge itself never ceases to see new twists, as many have recently been putting their own spin on it. Ben Affleck, for example, completed the Ice Bucket Challenge by taking his unexpected wife along for the ride. After Jennifer Garner dumped said water on Aflleck’s head, he grabbed her and jumped into their home’s swimming pool, effectively drenching both of them. The couple’s two children found their parents antics to be highly amusing, and can be heard laughing gleefully in the background of the video. Former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen also put his own spin on the challenge, using a bucket of cash instead of water. Although many found the act comical and applauded the 48-year-old, others felt his use of money versus ice-cold water effectively ruined the point of the challenge, rendering it meaningless. Sheen defended his use of money, stating that he was going to donate the thousands of dollars he dumped on his head to the foundation. He went on to call out what he felt was the pointlessness of using ice, as the ice melts and the only thing substantial about the challenge is the small amount of money donated to the foundation.
It remains to be seen whether or not former President Bill Clinton will respond to George W. Bush’s request to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge. Neither he nor his representatives have given any response to the matter as of yet.
by Rebecca Grace