Bush declines invite to appear with Obama at Ground Zero

Rick Moran
Unlike his Democratic predecessors, George W. Bush has been a model ex-president.

He has avoided the limelight, refrained from criticizing his successor, written his obligatory memoirs (best seller), and quietly promoted his causes such as the 100 mile bike trip he took last week with soldiers who had been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, given the opportunity to share the stage with President Obama in what is sure to be an emotional ceremony at Ground Zero tomorrow, the classy Mr. Bush has declined.

The New York Times:

President Obama invited former President George W. Bush to join him at ground zero in New York City on Thursday to mark the killing of Osama bin Laden, but Mr. Bush declined, a spokesman for the former president confirmed on Tuesday.

"President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday," said his spokesman, David Sherzer. "He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight. He continues to celebrate with Americans this important victory in the war on terror."
The White House did not confirm that the invitation had been made or comment on Mr. Bush's decision.

Mr. Obama has talked this week of his hope that the successful raid on the compound where Bin Laden was hiding could serve as a unifying force in a country divided by battles over fiscal policy and many other issues. Many Republicans have praised Mr. Obama for the success of the operation.

There are probably two dynamics at work in President Bush's decision. First, he doesn't want to end up a prop in what might be an Obama campaign commercial. But secondly, no matter what you think of Obama, the public accolades - deserved or not - belong to him. While it is true Bush-era intelligence developed the first leads in the hunt for Obama, the operation was ordered and took place on Obama's watch.

It was nice of the president to make the offer. And it was typical of Bush to turn it down.



Unlike his Democratic predecessors, George W. Bush has been a model ex-president.

He has avoided the limelight, refrained from criticizing his successor, written his obligatory memoirs (best seller), and quietly promoted his causes such as the 100 mile bike trip he took last week with soldiers who had been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, given the opportunity to share the stage with President Obama in what is sure to be an emotional ceremony at Ground Zero tomorrow, the classy Mr. Bush has declined.

The New York Times:

President Obama invited former President George W. Bush to join him at ground zero in New York City on Thursday to mark the killing of Osama bin Laden, but Mr. Bush declined, a spokesman for the former president confirmed on Tuesday.

"President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday," said his spokesman, David Sherzer. "He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight. He continues to celebrate with Americans this important victory in the war on terror."

The White House did not confirm that the invitation had been made or comment on Mr. Bush's decision.

Mr. Obama has talked this week of his hope that the successful raid on the compound where Bin Laden was hiding could serve as a unifying force in a country divided by battles over fiscal policy and many other issues. Many Republicans have praised Mr. Obama for the success of the operation.

There are probably two dynamics at work in President Bush's decision. First, he doesn't want to end up a prop in what might be an Obama campaign commercial. But secondly, no matter what you think of Obama, the public accolades - deserved or not - belong to him. While it is true Bush-era intelligence developed the first leads in the hunt for Obama, the operation was ordered and took place on Obama's watch.

It was nice of the president to make the offer. And it was typical of Bush to turn it down.