By Ken Thomas
WASHINGTON — Political opposites turned friends, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush launched a new scholars program at four presidential centers with an opening act that might have been a comedy routine.
The two former presidents — one a Democrat, the other a Republican — shared laughs and a buddy-like banter on stage Monday, talking about presidential leadership while trading stories about their famous families and life after the White House.
With Hillary Rodham Clinton seated in the fourth row, Bush noted that many people ask him about the possibility of another Bush-Clinton White House campaign. His father, President George H.W. Bush, lost to Clinton in 1992, and his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, may seek the GOP nomination in a race that could pair him against Hillary Clinton.
The 42nd and 43rd presidents joined together to announce the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, a partnership between the Clinton, Bush, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson presidential centers.
Bush said Clinton was empathetic and “an awesome communicator” who could “really lay out a case and get people all across the political spectrum.”
As moderator Josh Bolten humorously plugged the book’s Nov. 11 release date, Clinton mused about writing his own competing Bush 41 book. “I think I can put one together that would be ready to go,” Clinton joked.