In a rare event, the three past Presidents, the current President, and the future President gather together today at the White House for a face to face counseling session. At the request of Barack Obama and President Bush, the three past Presidents arrived in Washington for an opportunity to allow Obama the chance to seek advice on the current situations facing the United States and the Middle East, as well as many other topics as he prepares to transfer into office. This is the first time in over 20 years where former Presidents have gathered together to discuss current events.
In his remarks welcoming Obama, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, President Bush stated, “One message that I have, and I think we all share, is that we want you to succeed. Whether we’re Democrat or Republican, we care deeply about this country.” Today’s event is just one in many times since the November elections where the President and Obama have either come together to talked over the phone to provide council and guidance, as well as provide relevant information during the transition process.
The graciousness between President Bush and Obama has been visible for weeks now. Obama has been yielding the attention on the foreign policy issues to Bush, while Bush has been working with Obama has he prepares his responses to the current economic environment. Both have thanked each other on numerous times in front of the cameras, while expressing support for the success of each other. While some of this is for publicity sake, there might be some hope that the tone in Washington could finally be changing.
CNN – “Transition to Power: Presidential power lunch”
International Herald Tribune – “Symbolic meeting with predecessors marks Obama day”
New York Daily News – “All the Presidents’ lunch: Barack Obama meets past presidents”
Associated Press – “Obama has lunch with 4 presidents”
CNN – “Obama again praises Bush’s AIDS relief efforts”
Left Lane News – “Obama praises Bush plan, calls it ‘necessary step”