Bush schedules lunch for Obama, ex-presidents
Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008 9:46 pm
By JENNIFER LOVEN
AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) — Aiming for the smoothest transition of power he can manage, President George W. Bush is hosting a lunch next month with President-elect Barack Obama and all former presidents, the White House announced Wednesday.
The luncheon is set for Jan. 7.
Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush will attend, along with Obama.
Bush has made it a priority to provide any assistance Obama and his team need as they prepare to take over on Jan. 20. As his presidency winds down and Obama’s gears up, Bush sees it as part of his legacy to make the transfer of power effective and gracious.
Recently, for instance, White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten held a similar event with all the former chiefs of staff to offer advice and camaraderie to Obama’s incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said Bush wanted to have Obama to lunch and to meet with the former presidents.
She said the gathering will be a chance for them to discuss life in the White House, politics, and domestic and world affairs.
“These men share experiences that no one else can imagine. It will be fabulous to have them all here together,” Perino said.
Bush, Carter, Clinton and George H.W. Bush were last together in January 2007, to attend President Gerald Ford’s funeral service in Washington.