The 5 living Presidents take the stage at the Dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX. Photo by Eric Draper.

Inside the Presidential Reunion

Apr 26, 2013

by Mark K. Updegrove
[posted on on April 26, 2013]

There have only been three occasions when five U.S. presidents have stood shoulder to shoulder: in 1991, at the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; at the 1994 funeral of Richard Nixon; and yesterday, when President Barack Obama and three former Presidents—George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter—helped the forty-third president dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Dallas’ Southern Methodist University.

It’s not the first time the five men have come together. Back in January 2009, they gathered at the White House in George W. Bush’s waning days as commander-in-chief. But back then, Barack Obama was the president-elect, just a few weeks before his inauguration. Now Obama stood gray-haired among four peers, which he called a “support group,” having carried the burdens of the most powerful office in the world just as they had.

Support is what the group gave George W. Bush yesterday. If civility in Washington is as rare as a budget compromise, it was evident in spades at the opening of the nation’s newest presidential library. read more