President-elect Barack Obama and President Bush met in the Oval Office for over an hour today, and Obama received his first look at the Situation Room. In a statement, Obama-Biden transition spokesperson Stephanie Cutter said that “they had a productive and friendly meeting,” including “a broad discussion about the importance of working together throughout the transition of government in light of the nation’s many critical economic and security challenges.”
The AP reports on the post-meeting events: “The president later escorted his successor to his limousine. Obama’s wife was leaving separately after her discussions with Laura Bush. None of the four spoke to reporters.” Full statement below:
President-elect Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama were very warmly welcomed today at the White House by President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Upon arriving, President-elect Obama and President Bush proceeded to the Oval Office, where they had a productive and friendly meeting that lasted for over an hour. They had a broad discussion about the importance of working together throughout the transition of government in light of the nation’s many critical economic and security challenges. President-elect Obama thanked President Bush for his commitment to a smooth transition, and for his and First Lady Laura Bush’s gracious hospitality in welcoming the Obama’s to the White House.
After a brief private meeting, the First Lady led Mrs. Obama on a tour of the White House that focused primarily on the private residence of the historic home. After this tour, the First Lady and Mrs. Obama visited in the West Sitting Hall, where they discussed raising daughters in the White House, as Jenna and Barbara Bush were similar in age to Malia and Sasha Obama when they visited their grandfather, President George H. W. Bush, during his presidency. Mrs. Obama was honored to finally meet the First Lady, who was a gracious hostess. Following their visit, Mrs. Obama met with Admiral Rochon, the White House Chief Usher.