Bush Sr. Defeated for Presidency - 1992
Several factors were key in Bush's defeat, including agreeing in 1990 to raise taxes despite his famous "Read my lips: no new taxes" pledge. In doing so, Bush alienated many members of his conservative base, losing their support for his re-election. Of the voters who cited Bush's broken "No New Taxes" pledge as "very important," two thirds voted for Bill Clinton. Bush had raised taxes in an attempt to address an increasing budget deficit, which has largely been attributed to the Reagan tax cuts and military spending of the 1980s. In addition to these factors, the ailing economy which arose from recession may have been the main factor in Bush's loss, as 7 in 10 voters said on election day that the economy was either "not so good" or "poor". On the eve of the 1992 election against these factors, Bush's approval rating stood at just 37% after suffering low ratings throughout the year.Despite his defeat, Bush climbed back from election day approval levels to leave office in 1993 with a 56% job approval rating. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush)
"The night of the election the family gathered...in the Houstonian Hotel...When the final numbers put Bill Clinton over the top, George Bush sat there stunned. While family members had seen the writing on the wall months earlier, the president had never quite believed he would lose. "He never thought the American people would elect someone like Bill Clinton," says Nancy Bush Ellis.
"It was a stunning defeat, and the pain of the loss would not leave him quickly. 'It hurts like hell,' he would tell family and friends." ("The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty," Schweizer, page 404)
On Graves' Disease
United States President George H. W. Bush developed new atrial fibrillation and was diagnosed in 1991 with hyperthyroidism due to the disease and was treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with radioactive iodine. By coincidence (or so it is presumed, since the ultimate cause of this disease remains unknown), the president's wife, Barbara Bush, and the Bushes' pet dog, a springer spaniel named Millie, also developed the disease about the same time, which in Barbara's case produced severe infiltrative exophthalmos and a cosmetic change in the appearance of her eyes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graves-Basedow_disease)
Election's Effect on George W.
"Bush left his office and took a walk in the outfield as he often did when he just wanted to be left alone with his thoughts. The election was over and his father seemed depressed after returning to Houston. In a recent phone call with his oldest son, he had cried and softly said, 'It hurts. It really hurts to be rejected.' There was another lesson and George W. made a mental note: Never lose. It hurts too damn much.'" ("Fortunate Son," Hatfield, page 113)