(Photo: AP / David J. Phillip)
President George H.W. Bush, the 41st president and the father of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, remains in intensive care and now family members and sources close to the elder statesman are mum on his condition.
Bush has been hospitalized since Nov. 23 for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough. Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the family, issued an email on Thursday, saying he would issue another statement, "when events warrant it."
"He needs to rally," McGrath said. "We continue to be cautiously optimistic."
Family members were hoping the family patriarch would be home for the Christmas holiday. However, doctors were reluctant to release him. His condition has been described as "guarded." President George W. Bush, his wife Laura, Jeb, daughter Dorothy, and former Sec. of State James Baker have recently visited with him.
Many political scholars consider Bush one of the most qualified men who has ever served as president.
The son of a U.S. senator, he was one of the youngest pilots in the Navy during War World II and was shot down over the Pacific Ocean. Soon after leaving the Navy, he headed for Texas and began a successful career in the oil business.
Soon thereafter, he was elected to and served several terms in Congress. He continued his career in government service as an ambassador to China and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In 1980, he went head-to-head with Ronald Reagan for the GOP nomination for president, but came up short in the primary. However, Reagan asked him to run as his vice presidential running mate.
After serving two terms alongside Reagan, Bush ran for and was elected to the presidency in 1988, but served only one term after losing to a small-state southern governor named Bill Clinton. The two later became close friends.
Upon leaving the White House in 1992, the elder Bush stayed involved in politics from his adopted home in Houston, Texas. However, he was later diagnosed with Parkinson's disease that has significantly reduced his mobility in recent years.
His wife Barbara has been close to him during his extended hospital stay.