Obama balks at bucket, but Bush accepts challenge Former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush (George W. Bush Presidential Center / AP photos)
Obama balks at bucket, but Bush accepts challenge
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ormer President George W. Bush took the ice bucket challenge, then nominated former President Bill Clinton to do it next.

The challenge has caught on with notable figures participating in the campaign to raise money for the fight against ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

In a video posted on Bush's Facebook page, he says: "To you all who 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."

But here's what happened next.

The video, taken in Kennebunkport, Maine, then shows a smiling Laura Bush, his wife, dousing him. She says: "That check is from me I didn't want to ruin my hairstyle."

But don't look for anyone to be pouring water over President Barack Obama's head. After all, he is the President of the United States. American presidents, like Bush, are more likely to do something unusual or outrageous for a cause after they have left office. But while he is still president, Obama must maintain the dignity and respect that is part of his office.

The ice bucket dare is sweeping the nation and has raised nearly $42 million to support research into Lou Gehrig's disease. The disease attacks nerve cells and can lead to complete paralysis and death. Average life expectancy is two to five years after diagnosis, according to the ALS Association.

The challenge calls on people to post videos on social media of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads or having someone else handle the chilly chore. They also have to publicly name others to do the same thing within 24 hours or donate $100 to the ALS Association. Many people do both.

Other well-known participants include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ethel Kennedy. The 86-year-old Kennedy family matriarch tagged Obama to participate after recently dousing herself at her family's Massachusetts estate. Mrs.Kennedy knew that the president would be nearby on vacation.

Obama participated financially by donating an undisclosed sum, the White House said. Singer Justin Bieber nominated Obama to take the challenge, which has been a boon to the advocacy group.

Meanwhile, the State Department has banned participation by U.S. ambassadors and other high-profile foreign service officers. Department lawyers say participation would violate federal ethics rules barring officials from using public office for private gain "no matter how worthy the cause." That's according to an unclassified cable sent earlier this week that was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

Critical thinking challenge: How have politicians and entertainers made this campaign more effective? Is it part of their jobs or responsibilities?

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COMMENTS (7)
  • Damikus123
    8/26/2014 - 09:03 a.m.

    Being aprt of the ASL ice water challenge could make you an life saver or also a hero. Eventhough you have to go through the cold process of the challenge its is also fun to participate in it. By doing this challeng and posting it on the web it helps you raise more money.

  • bethany3-Bor
    8/29/2014 - 01:44 p.m.

    Really? This ALS icebucket challenge is for disease cure but he's out president and as our president he is supposed to lead us and show us but instead he probably didnt donate after not accepting or completing the challenge like everyone in the Unites States even i did it and donated but he is supposed to be a roll model but instead has everybody turning on him

  • bethany3-Bor
    8/29/2014 - 01:44 p.m.

    Really? This ALS icebucket challenge is for disease cure but he's out president and as our president he is supposed to lead us and show us but instead he probably didnt donate after not accepting or completing the challenge like everyone in the Unites States even i did it and donated but he is supposed to be a roll model but instead has everybody turning on him

  • bethany3-Bor
    8/29/2014 - 01:45 p.m.

    Really? This ALS icebucket challenge is for disease cure but he's out president and as our president he is supposed to lead us and show us but instead he probably didnt donate after not accepting or completing the challenge like everyone in the Unites States even i did it and donated but he is supposed to be a roll model but instead has everybody turning on him

  • CCashay-Cas
    9/11/2014 - 05:44 p.m.

    I believe that president Obama handled the situation correctly. He knows that he plays an important role in our society as the president. He needs to stay alert. We as a country has to realize that this is not a sign of disrespect towards the ALS campaign, but the awareness of Pres. Obama is trying to protect our country. We need to remember that while we are out here doing the ice bucket Challenge, he"s out there protecting us from Terrorist.

  • aydelotteg7
    9/19/2014 - 03:42 p.m.

    It is for a good cause, so President Barack Obama should accept the challenge. He should do it in a business manner. I know he already donated money, but it's for a good cause.

  • AscariJ-Ver
    3/06/2015 - 09:21 a.m.

    Doing matter if you're the president or were the president. This "challenge" is for a good cause anyways.A lot of people did it. So why doesn't the president do it.

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