On Sept. 11, 2001, with President George W. Bush in a Florida classroom.
It was a whisper that would echo forever: the White House chief of staff leaning over to inform his boss that America was under attack. George W. Bush lingered for several minutes that day, continuing to read The Pet Goat with a group of elementary-school students. “I thought he reacted exactly the right way. He did nothing to introduce fear to the kids. He did nothing to demonstrate fear to the media that would translate into the satisfaction of the terrorists around the world,” Andrew Card says now. Card’s life was changed as well. Partly because of the photo, he became a reluctant public face of a war on terror that sparked a decade of political strife. After leaving the White House five years later, he says, “I went dark, and recuperated and rejuvenated.” Card hit the speaking circuit, then entered the corporate world, sitting on the boards of Union Pacific and Lorillard. Now 64, he has reaffiliated with the Bush clan, as acting dean of the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. “I am committed to making sure people don’t forget the day.”