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. Viv, Utah

    yesterday and today I get hung up in moderation, i thought I was pretty mild.

    December 17, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Chris

    I think this is great! I am not a fan of his, but enough of the partisanship in this country!! Liberals want the anti Bush, but all that will accomplish is dividing the country even more. Inclusive is the way to go, and it appears Obama is trying to make that happen.

    December 17, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Independent

    I liked your post, Alice Newman Center, until you ended it by trying to make the RNC look bad. Both Democrats and Republicans have been showing post-election partisanship. Just read the comments on this board and see how hateful Democrats can be as well as Republicans.

    December 17, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Glen In Los Angeles

    Obama has some pretty decent ideas, doesn't he? I think this meeting is going to mark the beginning of truly bi-partisan talks, considering that change occurs from the top down as well as from the bottom up. too bad Ronald Reagan isn't still alive. It would have been interesting to see what an effect his presence in such a meeting would have among those who worship his legacy.

    December 17, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Scooper

    Scott Zimmerle:

    In your response you say,

    "Stop listening to racist, immoral hate-radio, the political equivalent of the Jerry Springer show, all circus and no ideas. Stop watching Fox News, Sean Hannity, and '24′. Stop visiting Drudge and the Politico. Stop buying cynicism and hate. Start thinking and feeling again and start making America what it should have been all along."

    There is FAR more hate coming from this blog that I have EVER experienced from Hannity or any of the others you mention. If you (Liberals) are going to preach against hate (i.e. Republicans), you all better think twice before submitting what I read on EVERY SINGLE blog and practice what you preach. Otherwise, you're simply a hypocrite.

    December 17, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. Dave, Illinois

    Have you noticed that Obama stopped criticizing Bush after his first intelligence briefing. After that, he announced that Gates would stay on and many security policies will continue as is. Obviously, he heard something that changed his mind. Maybe you rabid Bush haters should actually open your hate-filled mind and maybe someday you might change yours. This is asking a lot considering the childish, idiotic, comments on these bloggs.

    December 17, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Fernando

    With their powers combined they are Captain Planet!!

    December 17, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. Former Republican Army Wife

    OOOHHH. Bill is going. I bet Hillary is gonne sit home that night upset that she doesn't get to go to the secret white-house meetings too.

    December 17, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Eric

    >>"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."

    Shows you how crazy the Dems are, they expected Bush to not be cooperative? He has never been slimey. Not so smart perhaps, too dependent on his staff, and overreacted on Iraq. Americans were all hiding under our covers during the antrax attacks and most people were for the war. Democrats voted for it – even under Clinton they enacted the law for change in the Iraq regime.

    Recall it was Clinton's people that ransacked the White House on his way out (and Rubin ruined our banking laws to get his job at Citibank). If I were Bush, I'd take a few W's from the keyboards on my way out!

    December 17, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Flex

    Having a bigot pig like Rick Warren is the salt on my wounds. This religious pig voted my right to marry away. I hate him, and his sexless flock that supported prop 8!

    December 17, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. A Canuck

    Don't you get it ???? Obama is keeping his enemies INSIDE the tent !!!!

    December 17, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. RaeofSun

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall....

    December 17, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. H.P.

    While it doesn't sound as pithy, it would be more correct to say that the schedules being coordinated belong to three former, one current, and one future commanders-in-chief.

    December 17, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  14. Rob Redmond

    This is a smart move for someone who wants to appear powerful and appear to be a listener. But it is all just appearances. In with the new boss, same as the old boss – but slicker at handling cameras and political influence peddling.

    Expect nothing to come of this. It means nothing and no decisions will come from it.

    December 17, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. John

    I wonder if the shoe-throwing guy ever tried doing that to Saddam. He can thank Bush for freedom of the the press.

    December 17, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. shaun from seattle

    I bet Bill Clinton will find a way out of this one. He doesn't want obama to be in that presidential picture because it will add to his stature, and further diminish him from being the last great president. Hey Bill ! Obama's gonna be on mount rushmore and a dollar bill one day, so what do you think about that.

    December 17, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. It's not about you

    Flex: Warren didn't do away with your "right" to marry people like you did! Because you and your ilk tend to brand everyone who disagrees with you as the Spawn of Satan quite frankly you turn off even those of us who support your efforts to gain inclusion. Chill out. You may have lost a battle but the war is far from over.

    December 17, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. Change your tune and you'll get better results

    Flex: Warren didn't do away with your "right" to marry, people like you with your sour attitude towards anyone who disagrees with you did that! Quit branding everyone who disagrees with you as the Spawn of Satan. You may have lost a battle but the war is far from over.

    December 17, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  19. chill out

    Flex: Ya know what? Even those of us who support your efforts to gain inclusion are getting tired of you and your ilk branding everyone who disagrees with you as the Spawn of Satan. The gay community would be better served if you checked your emotions at the door. You're not going to win over everyone...and eventually I believe society will see things your way. But the longer you carry on irrational diatribes against those who oppose you, the longer it will take for you to reach your goals.

    December 17, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  20. Lolita

    TO FLEX: I could say mean and hateful things to you and your beliefs but I will not do so. The only thing I will say is wrong is wrong! Please take it any way you see fit. Now as far as all the Pres. meeting I think it is a good idea maybe they can give Obama advice on what NOT TO DO in office...like cheating on is wife, destroying America's economic status and creating false wars just to name a few things!

    December 17, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  21. otis razz

    i am a very big supporter of both clintion and obama. its sad to see american talking that way. The clintion has done so much for this country, in for someone to say something bad about the clinton or obama its sad. I feel that obama is doing a good job and i hope he make it all the way, especially the education system because i am a college student , working two jobs, trying to pay my way to school.

    December 17, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. D-

    Meh. Sounds like a big circle jerk to me. Still, credit to Obama for suggesting the idea and hearing out a lot of different points of view.

    December 17, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. Rick in L.A.

    And just when you thought Barak Obama couldn't get any smarter....

    December 17, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. Tony

    Obama, dont louse your confidence man ,kee your faith however the chalenge is bigger...

    December 17, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  25. Grant in Canada

    Phil – You hope security is tight??? It's the White House for gawd's sake. I believe it was last attacked in 1812.

    December 17, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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