Obamas depart White House after meeting George W and Laura Bush

November 11th, 2008 - 1:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Nov.11 (ANI): America’’s next first family — President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle — spent more than an hour at the White House Monday, getting a tour of what will soon be their new home and an orientation of sorts.
Obama started his day in Chicago, dropping his two daughters at school, each with a kiss, and then going to a gym for a workout. He traveled to Washington separately from his wife, who a spokeswoman said had a private schedule before being able to travel to the nation’’s capital.
As a large group of onlookers watched from the sidewalk, the Obamas” limo arrived early for their 2 p.m. ET meeting with President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. The motorcade was befitting of the next president of the United States.
White House press secretary Dana Perino described the meeting as “constructive, relaxed and friendly.”
Fox News quoted her as saying that the president and Obama spoke about domestic and international issues, as the latter was shown his eventual living quarters and office, as well as the Lincoln Bedroom and the rooms where the Obamas” two daughters will stay.
Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter described the meeting as “productive and friendly,” saying they had a “broad discussion” about the importance of working together for a smooth transition.
The Obamas stayed for more than an hour before heading back separately to the airport for their return trips to their hometown of Chicago.
The president-elect was staying in town later to hold private meetings with his advisers. He is expected to soon open his transition office in Chicago.
The Obamas were greeted at the White House portico by the president and first lady. The two couples posed for photos before walking into the presidential mansion without commenting to reporters.
In a bit of pageantry for the cameras, the president and president-elect walked along the Colonnade and into the Oval Office. Accustomed to the protocol, Bush waved at the crowd before Obama followed suit. The two stopped for a moment to greet spectators before walking into the Oval Office, Obama’’s first visit to that storied room.
The meeting between a U.S. president and his successor is a tradition, but this year the private sit-down is coming earlier than usual. The schedule is a reflection of the severity of the challenges Obama will inherit — two ongoing wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a steep economic downturn.
Perino said she could not offer a detailed preview, explaining that, “I don”t think any of us can understand what it’’s like … for two people who are now going to be in a very small club, who understand what it’’s like to be the commander in chief, to be the leader of our great country.”
While Bush and Obama were meeting, Laura Bush guided Michelle Obama on a tour of the first family’’s living quarters. (ANI)

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