Bush Celebrates His 61st Birthday

President George W. Bush greets members of the military and their families during his visit to West Virginia Air National Guard 167th Airlift Wing on Independence Day, July 4, 2007, in Martinsburg, W.V. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez)
AP
When President Bush turned 60 last year, the milestone garnered interest around the globe. On Friday, he turns a year older, but with a bit less fanfare.

President Bush got started early on the festivities for his 61st birthday - with dinner and a party that first lady Laura Bush threw for him Wednesday evening at the White House, where he watched the Fourth of July fireworks over the National Mall.

On Thursday night, the president took in his favorite pastime, venturing across town to see the Washington Nationals play the Chicago Cubs. With no fanfare, the former part-owner of the Texas Rangers entered RFK Stadium at the bottom of the first inning, sat in a team box with team executives and an owner, and left after the seventh-inning stretch. The Cubs won 4-2.

Spokesman Scott Stanzel said President Bush "had a wonderful evening" on Wednesday. His parents, former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, were there - after the president just spent a long weekend with them at their summer home on the Maine coast.

President Bush's 25-year-old twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, also came to the White House to celebrate their father's birthday. Barbara had joined her dad and grandparents in Kennebunkport, Maine, over the weekend.

Stanzel said that "a number of good friends" came as well. Guests included several professional golfers, including Phil Mickelson, Fred Funk, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Brad Faxon, Paul Azinger and Jeff Maggert, and their spouses, said Emily Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman.

The big-name field of golfers are in the area for the inaugural AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in suburban Washington. The PGA event is commonly known as Tiger's Tournament because it was created by Tiger Woods and benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation.

At the White House party, Funk gave Mr. Bush a golf bag with the presidential seal embroidered into it and his name on the bag, Lawrimore said.

President Bush was scheduled to leave Friday for the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland. Last year, friends joined the first couple for the birthday weekend.