Maybe McCain isn’t the only one who gets to, in spite of it all, “end classy”?

Today the AP reports that President Bush, too, is ending “classy” — or “with grace.” All because he greeted President-Elect Obama yesterday at the White House without succumbing to the temptation to give the new guy a wedgie… or something like that…

No matter how people remember President Bush’s time in office, let there be no doubt about how he wants to end it: gracefully.

Never mind that Democrat Barack Obama spent all that time deriding Bush for “failed policies,” or mocking him for hiding in an “undisclosed location” because he was too unpopular to show up with his party’s own candidate, John McCain. This is transition time. Outgoing presidents support the new guy.


And on that front, Bush is going well beyond the minimum. He has embraced the role of statesman with such gusto that it has been hard to miss.

The result is that Bush’s last image at the White House will be one of a magnanimous leader. Whether it will improve his legacy is another matter.

Well, it can’t hurt to have a reporter describe what looks like garden variety White House Transition Time Behavior as “well beyond the minimum” of “grace” and “statesmanship.”


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.