During the presidential election campaign, Edwin Derwinski, Vice-chairman of President Bush's Reelection Campaign Committee, attended a press conference on October 23 at the International Translation Institute in Burlingame, California to campaign for Bush. Derwinski, the Director of the Veterans' Administration, accompanied by Dr. John B. Tsu, Chairman of the Committee of Asian Descendants for the Reelection of Bush, paid a call to the Venerable Master Hua.
On October 24, the Overseas Chinese Newspaper published a detailed report of the press conference, and the
World Journal gave an account highlighting the Venerable Master's crucial suggestion to Bush regarding his reelection. This earthshaking suggestion required the President to refuse a salary and lead the nation by serving as a model of one who does not contend, is not greedy, does not seek, is not selfish, does not want personal advantage, and does not lie. During the press conference, the Ven. Master pointed out that if Bush were to announce that he would not take a salary, he would definitely be reelected. But up to then, since Bush had not made such an announcement, he would have difficulty being reelected. However, Buddhists should still do their best to elect an ideal leader and pray for the well-being of the citizens and for world peace.
In fact, the Ven. Master had already brought up his suggestion with President Bush's staff as early July 29th. On that day, Mr: Clayton S. Fong, a high official of Asian descent on the White House staff, and assistant to the public liaisons officer, visited the Ven. Master at the International Translation Institute. The Ven. Master said, "If Bush can refuse a salary, I guarantee that he will be reelected." On September 25, the Ven: Master especially mailed a letter to Bush as an earnest reminder.
In addition, on many public occasions, such as October 14 at Gold Mountain Monastery's Gwan Yin Bodhisattva Ceremony and October 23 at the press conference at the International Translation Institute, the Venerable Master repeatedly exhorted President Bush to follow his Press Conference Third from right: Venerable Master Hua Fourth from right: Director of Veterans' Administration Derwinski suggestion to refuse a salary. Each time, Dr. John B. Tsu was present as a representative of Bush's Reelection Campaign Committee, and promised to pass the Ven. Master's advice to President Bush. It could be said that the Ven. Master exhausted his efforts out of concern for the country.
It's a pity that Bush ultimately did not adopt or publicize this suggestion, which would have been more efficacious than any panacea. Losing this opportunity, he had to hand over the Presidency.
On November 4, after receiving news of Clinton's election, we regretted that Bush lost his chance and failed to follow the Venerable Master's advice. Looking to the future of the U.S. and the world, we only hope Clinton will consider the Ven. Master's excellent and timely policy for governing the nation, understand his deep concern for the welfare of the country and citizens, and resolve to be a President of the heavens, a President with no wish for money, and an outstanding President. This would be a tremendous blessing to all of humanity.