January 6th, 2009
02:26 PM ET
5 years ago

All the presidents’ lunch

Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton will meet with Barack Obama and President Bush for a private gathering in the Oval Office.
Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton will meet with Barack Obama and President Bush for a private gathering in the Oval Office.

(CNN) –- Talk about a power lunch. President Bush, President-elect Barack Obama and three living former presidents will meet in the Oval Office for a private gathering on Wednesday afternoon.

Former presidents Jimmy Carter, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton will join Obama and Bush at the White House for lunch. Obama initially came up with the idea that all of the men get together after meeting with President Bush last month.

White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino said the current and former leaders will gather for a photo op in the Rose Garden, but that their conversation and meal will be private. She said she doesn’t know what they will talk about, but she said she’d love to be able to hear it.

“I'm sure all of us would love to be flies on the wall and listening to that conversation,” Perino said during Tuesday’s daily press briefing. “These are leaders who only understand what it's like to be in each others shoes and none of us can put ourselves in those shoes.”

Perino speculated that they will discuss what it’s like to raise children in the White House and how to protect them. She praised the Obamas for doing a good job with that so far and said they got their daughters to their first day of school on Monday “in good fashion.”

Perino said the last time all of the living presidents got together was in 1981, and called Wednesday’s meeting a “historic moment.”

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Good for you Rodger. We should all stop the name calling and poking fun of... we need to be in alignment with one another.

    I voted for Obama, and feel he's making some good choices so far – specifically, trying to understand the conflicting viewpoints of others, then making an educated decision with all the information being taken into consideration. This is what this meeting is all about.

    On the flip side, I'm very concerned about the views of many I'm seeing posting here. Obama supporters need to be VERY careful. Obama is not the silver bullet that will set the world right. Once he takes office, the world will not suddenly be a bright, shiny, happy place like many supporters seem to expect. He is just a man with a seemingly unending list of daunting tasks ahead of him. He can only do so much. I caution you – do not look to him as a Messiah, or you will be very disappointed, and might even grow to resent him in the end.

    All we can do is hope the leaders of this country can come together and be more in alignment with one another than we have been historically.

    January 6, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. deonterryo thompson im a blackman!

    and the said a black man will never be president

    January 6, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. shucks

    3 presidents, 1 president elect, and one war crimes criminal.

    January 6, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Independant from NY

    Chuck @ 3:42 pm

    At any cost? Perhaps you should tally up the costs in civilian lives and you may think differently. You act as though concepts such as terrorism/fundamentalism are finite resources that disappears as soon as the last soldier is dead. They aren't. All Israel is doing is creating a new generation of militants with a bigger chip on their shoulder. I'm a Jew but the Israeli government deserves whatever consequence arrives from this detestable act of war. This will only get deeper. You think the billions we give to Israel in military aid is a wise investment given our economy?

    January 6, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Mari

    @ MESSIAH WATCH........... PLEASE STOP WITH THE 'MESSIAH' REFERENCES! YOU INSULT CHRISTIANS. SINCE YOU ARE A FAR-RIGHT-NUT....... YOU ARE LIKELY 'CHRISTIAN' ....... SO STOP USING GOD'S SON NAME IN VAIN!

    PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA IS A BRILLIANT MAN, WHOSE MESSAGE RESONATED WITH THE MAJORITY OF AMERICAN PEOPLE!

    HOPE WON! HOPE TRUMPS FEAR, HATE, LIES & DIVISION!!

    January 6, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. arc, Lugano CH

    TCM January 6th, 2009 2:58 pm ET
    ...and experience at running……..what? A newspaper? I heard he only ran the Harvard paper because no one else wanted the job;
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    'Harvard Paper'... I think you mean the Harvard Law Review.

    TCM, you’re a bloody riot! That's rich! Rich I tell you! Rich like Creme Anglaise!

    Mmmmmmmmm.

    January 6, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. father j

    obama obama obama obama obama obama!!!

    January 6, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Meh

    Well, I HOPE they're living presidents! Which other ones would they invite?! haha Oh, CNN...

    S Callahan> No thanks. Church and State are supposed to be separate.

    People who can't see that Obama is already a leader must be blind. The very fact that he wanted to bring all these men together, despite the fact that he may not agree w. their politics, is a tribute to his leadership skills.

    Not sure why people are bashing Carter, either. He seems like a stand-up guy. Perhaps not the best pres (I don't remember...before my time), but still...not a bad guy. At least give him props for his diplomacy skills?

    January 6, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. CThompson

    There is not much that I would not give to be at that luncheon

    January 6, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. richard rohde

    Proud American is such a jerk, isn't there some sort of George Soros sponsored board he can go to. Oh wait this is it.

    January 6, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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