"I want to thank the President-elect for joining the ex-president's for lunch," President Bush welcomed former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and his father George H. W. Bush as well as his successor Barack Obama to the Oval Office Wednesday.
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"One message that I have and that we all share is that we all want you to succeed," Mr. Bush said addressing President-elect Obama. "Whether we are Democrat or Republican we all care about this country and to the extent we can we look forward to sharing our experiences with you," he added.
"All of us who have served in his office understand taht the office itself transcends the individual," the current president explained. "We wish you all the very best and so does that country" as the two men shook hands.
As White House press wranglers struggled to end the photo opportunity, President-elect Obama broke in. "I just want to thank the president, I just want to thank the president for hosting us. This is an extraordinary gathering, all the gentlemen here understand both the pressures and the possibilities of this office. And for me to have the opportunity to get advice and good counsel, and fellowship from these individuals is extraordinary and I am very grateful to all of them. But again thank you Mr. President for hosting us."
As CBS News' Peter Maer reported, this "was the first White House meeting of current and former presidents since 1981 when Ronald Reagan asked Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter to attend the funeral of assassinated Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat."