President Bush did something historically significant today as a refresher to the American public that we live in a thriving democracy. He hosted a private luncheon with the the living past presidents and president-elect. Though never given credit for his consistent outreach, President Bush has been a 'post partisan' president from the beginning of his first term. It wasn't just campaign rhetoric for him.
It is reported that Obama suggested that he and Bush meet in January for another private meeting, like the one Bush invited him to at the White House after the election. Bush agreed and decided to include the others, too. So, Bush accepts Obama's suggestion and expands on it. Unlike the contrast of Obama's self-interests at work - when he first went to the Senate and Bush invited him along with other Senators to the White House. Bush quietly gave Obama a bit of advice on the workings of Washington. Obama decided to include the exchange in his last book and ridicule the gesture. Class - you either have it or you don't.
The lunch was attended by President Bush, Obama and former presidents Bush, Clinton and Carter. With all the bad blood between Carter and the Bush presidents, it is a testament to the generosity of the current president that he was invited. Carter is a disgrace - both as the worst president in my lifetime and as a former president traveling the world while slandering the current president. If he were a citizen of most other countries in the world - especially the ones where he was most vocally opposed to Bush - he'd be in a jail in the middle of nowhere.
The Hill's Sam Youngman passes along this quote from the meeting: "One message that I have and I think we all share is that we want you to succeed." This president continues to show grace when none is given to him. It is a testament to his soul. He won't have to be torn from the Oval Office as Clinton was - one departing ceremony after another to stretch it all out. This president's ego doesn't depend on political trappings. He has a life and will go back to it in Texas when his term ends.
Character is not easy to come by in Washington.