That scene at the White House on Monday, with the president and first lady greeting the president-elect and his wife, was one we all should relish.
It was a moment that said more about this country than any election, any technological or scientific achievement or any military victory could ever say.
That powerful single image transcended the two men pictured in that snapshot of a transition of power.
It was a symbolic passing of the keys to the "people’s house" at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and it represented the basic ideal of America, a country that comes together and moves forward after even the most bitter of political fights.
President Bush’s invitation to Barack and Michelle Obama to visit the White House less than a week after the election was a way of showing the world — while reminding Americans of all parties and stripes — that, in this country, the passing of power will be peaceful.
The president assumed the role of a statesman, a gentleman and one capable of leading by example. His actions, from his congratulatory comments after election results were announced to Monday’s visit by the Obamas, were a way of telling the nation that we need to heal our wounds, unite as a people and show respect for the new leader of the land.
Some partisans who support the president have criticized him for being a little too accommodating, which is why I want to defend him.
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