Michael Dukakis and George H.W. Bush Shake Hands

The two political opponents met at Bush's residence on Dec. 2, 1988.
2:02 | 11/28/12

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Transcript for Michael Dukakis and George H.W. Bush Shake Hands
President elect George Bush played host today to the man he defeated last month. Governor Michael Dukakis ABC's Jim wooten is in Washington. In each man's memory must still -- the uncivil echoes of the recent unpleasantness. And after they -- today as a resident at pleasant could be I am very grateful to him for the spirit of this visit. And I happen to think that it's and they. Finest tradition of American politics but smiles and small talk aside this was an. Unavoidably awkward little armistice. And so when the vice president took his idiotic to discuss governor took a few questions and a few shots at the Reagan bush stewardship of the White House we've had eight years of endless borrowing and spending and the chickens coming home to roost. Clearly bush and the cock -- didn't suddenly become bosom buddies today but it wasn't a complete waste of time. In the politics of America winners dearly love to be seen as magnanimous and losers don't like to be seen as bitter. Even Pat Robertson one of the vice president's fiercest Republican opponents last -- dropped by his office earlier today to wish him well wonderful way to. American political system. Works what may not be working quite so well as the construction of his cabinet snag now on the appointment of a secretary of defense. Insiders say it's still John Tower despite his coziness with defense contractors me. And talk about his personal life centering on drinking and his relationships with women. The main problem may be the reluctance of a long list of experienced corporate executive to -- -- towers deputy secretary. And oversee -- reform of the Pentagon's procurement process. -- They were. Perhaps so but bush and his transition team are now running into serious questions on the advisability of naming a secretary of defense. Who requires propping up by a management expert. From the business world. Jim wooten ABC news Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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