January 30, 2012
Unbeknownst to the press, President Obama met Friday evening with former president George H.W. Bush and his son, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, in the Oval Office.
White House officials did not list the meeting on the president’s schedule but released a photo on Flickr. According to the photo’s time stamp, the meeting occurred shortly after 5 p.m., about the time the president returned to the White House from a fundraiser.
When asked what the men discussed and why it wasn’t on the schedule, the White House released a statement saying, “The three men enjoyed a personal visit in the Oval Office – as they have done on previous occasions when President Bush is Washington.”
The Bushes are in town to attend the exclusive Alfalfa Club dinner Saturday, an annual get-together for Washington power brokers that Obama also is scheduled to attend, according to the Associated Press.
The meeting came at an interesting time politically, just one day after Obama, in an interview with ABC News, blamed predecessor George W. Bush for policies that brought on the greatest recession since the Great Depression. He also blamed him for initiating the expansion of food stamp rolls.
Jeb Bush has also played a critical role in the GOP presidential primary contest in Florida — primarily by saying he wouldn’t play a role. His endorsement would have been key in the race, currently neck and neck between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, but Jeb Bush said last week that he would remain neutral.