Likely because of the intense animosity between the political establishment and President-elect Donald Trump, it was thought for a while that none of the living ex-presidents would be attending his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, save former President Jimmy Carter.
All that has changed now, though, according to The Hill, with the announcement that former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura will be in attendance on that historic day.
“They are pleased to be able to witness the peaceful transfer of power — a hallmark of American democracy — and swearing-in of President Trump and Vice President (Mike) Pence,” read a written statement from Freddy Ford, spokesman for Bush, as reported by The Dallas Morning News.
While not wholly unexpected and certainly not unwelcome, the attendance of Bush at Trump’s inauguration has nevertheless surprised some people, given the “complicated” nature of the relationship between Bush and Trump.
To be sure, Bush fully supported his younger brother Jeb in the Republican primary, essentially sat out the 2016 general election and didn’t offer support to Trump’s campaign, and even admitted to not casting a vote for president at all on Election Day, instead focusing solely on voting for the rest of the GOP elsewhere on his ballot.
Nevertheless he did call Trump after his electoral victory to congratulate him and has issued words of support since.
Bush will not be joined at the inauguration by his father, former President George H.W. Bush, whose advanced age and declining health will reportedly prevent his attendance, according to Politico.
It is expected that President Barack Obama will attend at least part of the inauguration ceremony, as tradition dictates a sort of handing-off of power from the current president to his incoming replacement.
However, it remained unclear at this time whether former President Bill Clinton would attend the ceremony, given the bitter general election campaign waged between Trump and Clinton’s wife, Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
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