The first official meeting between President-elect Obama and President Bush happened today at the White House. In a testament to the greatness of our democracy and freedom, pictures of the two men from different parties, and hugely varying policy stances, shaking hands and peacefully walking the White House grounds was something special to watch.
The report from Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON – All smiles and compliments, President-elect Obama and his wife, Michelle, called on President Bush and first lady Laura Bush Monday in a White House visit that was part political ritual, part practical introduction and a striking symbol of the historic transfer of power to come.
The president and Obama talked war and financial crisis. Laura Bush and Michelle Obama talked about raising daughters in the nation’s most famous house.
Then Obama flew back to Chicago to work on setting up the new administration that will take over on Jan. 20.
Mrs. Obama went out hunting a new school for the kids, visiting two of the capital city’s best-known private schools.
If first impressions matter, Obama and his wife displayed one similarity to the super-punctual Bushes, pulling up to the White House’s South Portico 11 minutes early. The couples traded warm and easy greetings in the crisp autumn sunshine, with the wives exchanging pleasantries about the fall hues each wore — Mrs. Bush in a brown dress and Mrs. Obama in a red one.
While Obama and Bush, in business suits, proceeded waving and smiling down the White House Colonnade for nearly two hours of private talks, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Bush had their own agenda: talk of raising children in most unusual circumstances. Mrs. Bush conducted a tour of the living quarters of the historic mansion and made introductions to the army of residence staff who look after first families.
Michelle Obama had toured the White House before with daughters Malia, who is 10, and Sasha, who is 7. But the two women had never met.
The 43rd president and the man who will be the 44th — and first black — commander in chief met alone in the Oval Office, with no handlers or staff. It was Obama’s first time in the storied workspace, even though he had been to the White House previously for events.
Nether the Bushes nor the Obamas spoke to reporters, and details about their meetings were few.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said that Bush described the meeting as “constructive, relaxed and friendly,” covering problems at home and abroad, and that he personally pledged a smooth transition. Bush gave Obama a sneak peek at White House highlights, such as the Lincoln Bedroom and the president’s office in the residence, after their hour-plus in the Oval Office.
Video report from CBS News:
Video report from ABC News:
Video report from NBC News:
Raw video from the Associated Press:
Discussion and report from CNN:
Report on Michelle Obama’s meeting with First Lady Laura Bush from CNN:
Panel discussion on the meeting from Fox News:
A look at the body language of President-elect Obama and President Bush from Fox News:
There’s a lot of varying coverage to compare there between cable news and the broadcast outlets. Watching our current leader extend a friendly hand to our new leader, come January, is a bit awe-inspiring whether or not you supported Barack Obama. No blood shed and yet we have a peaceful transition of power. It is a testament to our democracy and the try civility of our nation despite the heated campaign season.
That’s not to say everyone is pleased with the election of Obama, however, everyone can hang their hat on how peaceful and strong our democracy truly is.