December 17th, 2008
07:36 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama, Bush planning to meet again - with a twist

President Bush and President-elect Obama will meet with three former presidents in January.
President Bush and President-elect Obama will meet with three former presidents in January.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has learned that President-elect Barack Obama and President Bush have privately agreed to try and come together again in January for a second post-election meeting at the White House, but this time they're inviting the three living former presidents as well.

Two sources familiar with the plans tell CNN that at their first post-election meeting in the Oval Office on Nov. 10, Obama proposed that the two men get together again before the inaugural along with former presidents Jimmy Carter, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton.

The sources said the current President quickly agreed it would be a good idea and all sides are trying to make it happen somewhere between Jan. 1 and the Jan. 20 inaugural, though coordinating the schedules of five onetime commanders-in-chief can be difficult.

The high-powered meeting is another sign of how closely the Obama and Bush teams have been working together to try and make sure the first post-9/11 transfer of power goes smoothly.

"It's been unbelievably cooperative," said one Democratic official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the private conversations between the President and President-elect.

Update, 6:36 p.m.: The White House has confirmed that the meeting will take place on January 7. "President Bush will host a lunch for President-elect Obama and former Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Bush," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told CNN. Perino also said the White House would release additional details about the meeting as January 7 approaches.

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. Matt

    wow...talk about a photo op

    December 17, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. obama-mama

    Obama, throw a shoe while you're there.....(just kidding)

    I'm glad the transition is going smoothly. Just keep your eyes and ears peeled....

    December 17, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. raagos

    AGAIN OBAMA PROVE ITS UNITE.... I LOVE U PRES-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

    December 17, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Roger

    Good....can we ask them all to bring their original birth certificates please?

    December 17, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Linda Va

    Everybody want to be a part of history. LOL

    December 17, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. clueless

    I remember my 1st. management position – I met with several previous people who filled that position in prior years.....because I didn't have a clue???

    December 17, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Iowa Mom

    I think it's great to see them working together to make a smooth transition.

    December 17, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. www.kazurisana.com

    That is a very good move. it should build on the goodwill and support that the next president – Barack Obama, will need from all former presidents.

    December 17, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. dustin

    talk about wishing to be a fly on that wall, it'd be interesting to see.

    December 17, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Barb

    Obama has some very unusualy qualities that I have not seen in politicans. He is able to bring people together for the good of the country, this is what you really call "Country First". He will do what ever it take and pull together people that can help to pull the country together.

    WELL DONE PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!

    December 17, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Lawrence in Denver

    Matt-
    'wow…talk about a photo op'

    Matt, get your head out the kool-aid! I see this meeting of future, present, and past presidents great. The transition will run smoothly. My only regret on this meeting is that they are not meeting to discuss issues like the environment and the economy.

    ~Lawrence in Denver

    December 17, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Rick

    The transition always goes smoothly when it's a republican handing off to a democrat......not the case when it's a democrat handing off to a republican(see Clinton administration & Carter administration).

    December 17, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. mb

    This will be a interesting meeting, would love to be a fly on the wall.

    December 17, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Retired Army in San Antonio

    This is a good thing.......all the living people who've been there and done that, schooling the newby.

    Excellent idea!!

    December 17, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Don

    Bush: Hey Buddy, Here's the keys .... I'm out of here.

    December 17, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Greg PA

    trying to unite the country after deviding it so baddly.

    December 17, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Al Willars

    GREAT IDEA:
    GO BARACK AND JOE

    December 17, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. rachel

    interesting

    December 17, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Paul

    Why the need to always put "living" in front of former presidents, the non-living ones weren't invited?

    December 17, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Frederick in VA

    Give'em heck Bush!

    December 17, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Laura PA

    He is The Man......

    December 17, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. Larry in Houston

    It sounds like and looks like Clinton would have the best information to suggest to Obama......Definitely not the republicans !!

    Larry C.
    Houston, Texas

    December 17, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Jerry

    Actually, there is more brains in a saturday barber shop than all these Washington clowns

    December 17, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Jim in MN

    What qualifications, other than inheiritance, does she have to be Senator? It's a little "Palinesque, " isn't it?

    At least Palin had some public service and executive experience.

    December 17, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. cherrystrawberry

    My Man Obama is a genius. I mean I dont care what your politically party is you have to admit to get past and presents Presidents together to iscuss a host of issues and brain storm is brilliant. now that's COUNTRY FIRST!

    December 17, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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