Cross-posted by The Lonely Conservative
Former Presidents George H.W. Walker Bush, George W. Bush, William J. Clinton and James E. Carter with President-elect Barack H. Obama
Yesterday President Bush hosted former Presidents Bush, Clinton and Carter for a White House luncheon. He also invited President-elect Barack Obama. Surely Mr. Obama has been studying up on White House protocol. Well, maybe not. The Washington Times reported a somewhat uncomfortable moment.
President Bush made a statement for the press and the press was then expected to leave. But Mr. Obama must not have been able to resist the urge to address his adoring fans (the press.)
[President Bush] “Thank you all.” Done, finished, over and out.
Junior White House staffers immediately bellowed “Thank you! Thanks, guys!” in an aggressive call for the press to vamoose. The giant “scoop” television lights that illuminated the members of the world’s most exclusive club were quickly shut off as reporters and photographers began heading for the door.
But just then, the man who takes over the house on Jan. 20 on a long-term lease — four years, with an option to renew for four more — decided that the show wasn’t quite over.
With a wave of his right hand, he froze the press corps in place. Still in the dark, and with Mr. Bush fidgeting next to him, Mr. Obama stammered at first, taking the floor in a room that, for eight years, has fallen silent after the president has spoken and his staffers have called out, “Thank you!”
“The, uh, uh, I, I, I, I, uh, I just want to thank the president for, uh — I just want to thank the president for hosting us,” he said, gesturing to Mr. Bush, whose fixed-on smile looked a bit like a grimace as the lights were turned back on. “This is an extraordinary gathering. All the gentlemen here understand both the pressures and possibilities of this office. And for me to have the opportunity to get advice, good counsel and fellowship with these individuals is extraordinary. And I’m very grateful to all of them. But again thank you, Mr. President, for hosting us.” Read full story.
Not to worry, in a few days Mr. Obama will move into the White House, where he’ll plan the economy to his little heart’s content.