Omaha’s most famous citizen can now add the nation’s highest civilian honor to his already distinguished resume. The White House announced Nov. 16 that Warren Buffett is among 15 honorees who will receive the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama at a ceremony early next year. The award is presented annually for “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States.” The day before the announcement, Buffett, a well-known Obama supporter and adviser, thanked George W. Bush and other government officials for their leadership during the economic meltdown of 2008 in a New York Times op-ed written as a letter to Uncle Sam. “I don’t know precisely how you orchestrated these. But I did have a pretty good seat as events unfolded, and I would like to commend a few of your troops. In the darkest of days, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner and Sheila Bair grasped the gravity of the situation and acted with courage and dispatch. And though I never voted for George W. Bush, I give him great credit for leading, even as Congress postured and squabbled,” Buffett writes. Buffett was an outspoken proponent of the bailout in 2008, likening the financial crisis to an “economic Pearl Harbor.”


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