There's a New Sheriff in Town!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Long Ride Home: "Dubya" Returns to Texas to a Hero's Welcome!

Plus: A report from inside the Bush Plane and a pictorial of the trip.


"Never Tire, Never Falter" from President Bush's Farewell Address

30,000 well wishers gave former President and Laura Bush a heroes welcome upon their return to Midland Texas Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

Aboard the Bush Plane
a former Bush advisor files his account—and his photos—from aboard the former president’s flight back to Texas.
by Mark McKinnon
The Daily Beast


Among the passengers, longtime Bush family, friends, and staffers included the former president’s mother and father and daughters Jenna and Barbara, Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Dan Bartlett, Josh Bolten, Joel Kaplan, Jared Weinstein, Mike Meece, Andy Card, Don and Susie Evans, Blake Gottesman, Clay and Ann Johnson, Ed Gillespie, Barry Jackson, Joe Hagin, Israel Hernandez, Jeanne Johnson Phillips, Margaret Spellings, Alberto Gonzales, Brad Freeman, Jim and Debbie Francis, and Roland and Lois Betts.


That’s the word expressed not just by former President Bush, but his staff, as well, on the last flight home aboard on what any other day of the last eight years would have been Air Force One, but today was Special Air Mission 28000.

I can only imagine the blogosphere lighting up with what will be some version of “good riddance.” But while I expected the president’s mood to be defiant, bitter, defensive, or vengeful toward his critics, he was anything but. As he toured the cabin of the airplane throughout the flight, visiting with old friends, family, and staffers, he was filled with equanimity, grace, and a generosity of spirit.
There was a lot of talk of old days and old times. About how eight years had flown by. About how children had grown. There was no high-fiving or celebration. And no weeping or whining. Just a quiet and friendly exchange of hugs between longtime colleagues and friends who had traveled a lot of miles together and weathered a lot storms.

And in the end, we all were simply grateful for the incredible ride.
Magnanimous to the End: A pictorial review of the long ride home

A last visit to the Oval Office and a message left behind for the incoming President:


A folder for U.S. President Barack Obama left by former President George W. Bush sits on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington January 20, 2009. Picture taken January 20, 2009.

"The theme is similar to what he's said since election night about the fabulous new chapter President-elect Obama is about to start, and that he wishes him the very best," former White House press secretary Dana Perino said Tuesday.
Right on Time:


President and First Lady Laura Bush greet the Obama family as they arrive at the White House for the ride to the U.S. Capitol as the Inauguration gets underway.


U.S. President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush depart the inauguration ceremony after Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the U.S.A. on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, January 20, 2009.


Former President Bush gives President Obama a heartfelt hug goodbye before boarding the helicopter.


Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush wave as they board a Marine helicopter on the east front of the Capitol. This is one of the same helicopters used throughout his presidency but can only be designated "Marine One" when the sitting President is aboard.


Former U.S. President George W. Bush looks out over the U.S. Capitol as his helicopter departs Washington January 20, 2009, for Andrews Air Force Base following the inauguration ceremonies for President Barack Obama.


The Marine Corps' helicopter carrying former President George W. Bush flies past the U.S. Capitol for the final time en route to Andrews Air Force Base.

Home to a Hero's Welcome!


Former President George W. Bush with wife Laura Bush speaks to a crowd of about 30,000 people at a welcome home rally Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 in Midland, Texas.


Former President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush address the crowd during a "Welcome Home" Celebration January 20, 2009 in Midland, Texas.



Thank You President and Mrs. Bush!

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