ABC NEWS’ JENNIFER DUCK REPORTS:
President-elect Barack Obama will meet with President George W. Bush and former Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the White House Wednesday.
The leaders will be photographed briefly in the Rose Garden before meeting privately in the Oval Office Private Dining Room for lunch.
This will be the first meeting at the White House for all living former presidents, President Bush and President-elect Obama. The last time Bush and the former presidents were together was Jan. 2, 2007, for former President Gerald Ford’s funeral.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Gordon Johndroe was asked about the incoming president’s move to the Hay Adams Hotel Sunday, which is within waving distance from the White House.
"They won’t have to wave to each other, because President-elect Obama will be here with all the other — with the former presidents on Wednesday," Johndroe said. "So, they will not only have a chance to wave to each other but have a chance to have a nice conversation and a good meal. I think that will be a very interesting and historic lunch."
He added President Bush had "very good conversations with President-elect Obama — several over the last few weeks."
When asked about the Middle East and the current administration’s contact with Obama, Johndroe said, "Secretary Rice has spoken to the president-elect at least once in the last week. The president-elect receives the same intelligence briefings that President Bush receives. So, he is familiar with the intelligence and what we know about what’s taking place there in Israel and Gaza. But we are staying in close contact. I can’t speak to any other staff discussions. But we’re providing them the information that they are seeking."
- Jennifer Duck