Huffpost Politics

Obama And Bush Meeting At White House (VIDEO and SLIDESHOW)

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UPDATE on November 10 at 7:15 PM EST:
A source tells NBC News that Obama pushed Bush on an economic stimulus package, saying that action is needed now, not after the inauguration:

According to the source, Obama told Bush that action is needed on a stimulus package now - in a lame duck session - and cannot wait until after the inauguration.

Obama also urged help for automakers and encouraged the acceleration of the disbursement of $25 billion dollars for the industry.

On his third focus - housing - Obama voiced his concern that homeowners whose mortgage rates are about to go up will need aid to prevent more Americans from defaulting on home loans.

Watch video of the Obamas arriving at the White House for their meetings with the President and First Lady Laura Bush. Read more below from Obama's office and the AP. Scroll through for a slideshow:

Statement from Obama-Biden Transition Spokesperson Stephanie Cutter on today's White House meeting:

"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."


From AP:
All smiles and compliments, President-elect Obama and his wife, Michelle, called on President Bush and first lady Laura Bush Monday in a White House visit that was part political ritual, part practical introduction and a striking symbol of the historic transfer of power to come. The president and Obama talked war and financial crisis. Laura Bush and Michelle Obama talked about raising daughters in the nation's most famous house.

Then Obama flew back to Chicago to work on setting up the new administration that will take over on Jan. 20.

Bush Meets With Obama
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Mrs. Obama went out hunting a new school for the kids, visiting two of the capital city's best-known private schools.

If first impressions matter, Obama and his wife displayed one similarity to the super-punctual Bushes, pulling up to the White House's South Portico 11 minutes early. The couples traded warm and easy greetings in the crisp autumn sunshine, with the wives exchanging pleasantries about the fall hues each wore - Mrs. Bush in a brown dress and Mrs. Obama in a red one.

While Obama and Bush, in business suits, proceeded waving and smiling down the White House Colonnade for nearly two hours of private talks, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Bush had their own agenda: talk of raising children in most unusual circumstances. Mrs. Bush conducted a tour of the living quarters of the historic mansion and made introductions to the army of residence staff who look after first families.

Michelle Obama had toured the White House before with daughters Malia, who is 10, and Sasha, who is 7. But the two women had never met.

The 43rd president and the man who will be the 44th - and first black - commander in chief met alone in the Oval Office, with no handlers or staff. It was Obama's first time in the storied workspace, even though he had been to the White House previously for events.

Neither the Bushes nor the Obamas spoke to reporters, and details about their meetings were few.

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said the two men "talked extensively" about the economic situation and foreign policy.

"Obviously the topics that came up are what you've seen and heard about in the news recently and about what a number of transition officials spoke about on the Sunday (TV talk) shows," he said.

Topics included "the need to get the economy back on track," Gibbs said, and "what's going on in the auto industry." The discussion on the auto industry wasn't limited to just one of the nation's three largest car makers, he said. "It was a discussion about the broad health of the industry, and they also spoke about the housing industry and foreclosures."

As for Obama's first glimpse of the Oval Office: "He said it was a very, very nice office," Gibbs said...

At the White House, while Bush and Obama talked, parallel confabs went on all around the building.

Bush chief of staff Josh Bolten and Obama transition manager John Podesta, himself a former White House chief of staff under President Clinton, held their own talks after standing off to the side together in the Rose Garden watching their bosses walk by. Obama's likely White House press secretary, Gibbs, got a glimpse of the West Wing digs he probably will occupy _ including a fancy bank of television screens on one wall...

And there was one small but unmistakable sign that it will be Obama who will be in charge before too long: He put his left hand on Bush's back as they went inside the building from Obama's motorcade, as if he was guiding the president into his own house.

Later, as he sat on his plane waiting for takeoff, he was heard to say into his cell phone: "I'm not going to be spending too much time in Washington over the next several weeks."