Naturally, Bush also had primary rival John McCain and his wife, Cindy, over to dinner at the White House.
Bush was the first president in memory to attend the congressional retreats of the opposing party. After two weeks in office, a Wall Street Journal column noted that Bush's charm offensive was "disorienting the local Hatfields and McCoys." (Again: You're welcome.)Bush even made a special point to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus upon taking office, which -- given their feelings toward Bush -- would be the equivalent of Obama holding a special meet-and-greet session with the upper management of the Ku Klux Klan.
Bush invited the Democratic black mayor of the District of Columbia to the White House, attended a majority black District church service and appointed the first black secretary of state.
And that was all before Feb. 1, 2001. (By the end of his presidency, he would have appointed the first two black secretaries of state.)
Though it was small potatoes after all that palling around with Teddy Kennedy, this is the same George W. Bush who had Muslim "spiritual leaders" to the White House a week after 9/11.
Bush also famously said of then-Russian president, former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, that he looked him in the eye and "was able to get a sense of his soul."
(This made Bush's critics almost as apoplectic as if he had said, "I looked into Putin's eyes and, frankly, I just don't trust the guy." No matter what Bush did, liberals were incensed.)
As president, Bush scuttled the playing of "Hail to the Chief" in his honor and repeatedly reminded his staff to act humbly.
This is as opposed to Obama, who I believe is the first president-elect in history to have his own "Office of the President-elect" seal commissioned.
Like I always say, even if you don't like the current president-elect, you should still have some respect for the office of the presidency-elect.