In a tradition that at least temporarily raises the office above politics, President Bush has welcomed President-elect Obama to the White House, where the two men held their first face-to-face discussion since last week's election.
Obama and his wife, Michelle, showed up 11 minutes early.
But there appeared to be no need to circle the block, as the president and first lady Laura Bush were ready, waiting in the autumn sunlight at the South Portico.
Once inside the White House, Mrs. Bush took Mrs. Obama off for a tour of the residence, while the president led the President-elect along the Colonnade to the Oval office.
Bush chief of staff Josh Bolten said it was likely both men would have a list of issues to cover.
Bolten said Bush would want to convey "his sense of how to
deal with some of the most important issues of the day."
Those were likely to include the financial crisis and the war in Iraq.
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