Tom Pennington/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — When former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager, pro golfer Rory McIlroy, San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, and philanthropist Woody Johnson nominated President George W. Bush for the ice bucket challenge to strike out ALS, the former president wasn’t sure that pouring a pail of freezing water on his head – even in the name of raising awareness for a fatal disease – was properly dignified.
“To you all who have challenged me: I do not think it’s presidential for me to be splashed with ice water, so I’m simply going to write you a check,” President Bush says in a video posted to his Facebook page Wednesday.
Just when you’re starting to fear Bush’s video will be even more boring than a ceremonial ribbon cutting, former first lady Laura Bush appears with a bucket.
Grinning, she unceremoniously dumps its contents on the former commander-in-chief’s head.
“That check is from me,” she says, patting her hair. “I didn’t want to ruin my hairstyle.”
A sopping-wet George W. then nominates his presidential predecessor, Bill Clinton.
“Yesterday was Bill’s birthday and my gift to Bill is a bucket of cold water,” Bush deadpans.
President Bush is the first U.S. president to take the ice bucket challenge, but he’s not necessarily the first who has been nominated. President John F. Kennedy’s sister-in-law, Ethel Kennedy, who’s summering near President Obama’s vacation home, nominated President Obama last week (and so did Justin Bieber).
And Conan O’Brien nominated President Jimmy Carter last Thursday.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, also took the ice bucket challenge in a video posted Wednesday morning. He nominated Texas state Sen. Konni Burton, conservative talk show host Sean Hannity, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, and pastor Ed Young.
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neuromuscular disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. To learn more, visit the ALS Association.
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