WASHINGTON — In a meeting with mayors on Wednesday, President Bush confirmed what's been an open secret: He'll move to Dallas when his term is over a year from now.
Bush greeted a dozen mayors gathered in the White House's Roosevelt Room and stopped when he came to Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert.
"There's my new mayor," Bush said, according to Leppert.
Arlington, Texas, Mayor Robert Cluck, who also attended the meeting, said that when Bush sat down to talk to the mayors about free-trade deals and the economy, he said, "I want to make sure I do a good job today because my mayor's in the room." Cluck said he believes that Bush also said, "I'm moving to Dallas."
The president and his wife, Laura, have many ties to the city: They lived in North Dallas when he was managing general partner of the Texas Rangers, and the Bush presidential library is all-but-certain to be located at Southern Methodist University, which is in Dallas. An affiliated think tank, the Freedom Institute, is also planned for the site.
The White House has refused to confirm any of the speculation.
"The president and Mrs. Bush have made no announcement about their post-White House plans," said White House deputy press secretary Gordon Johndroe, "except that they'll be spending a lot of time in Crawford," where the president's ranch is located.