Why didn't the Bushes attend the luncheon?

It always seems to be that way-the outgoing president and VP are escorted to the helicoptor, right after the inauguration.

Today, Bush, Bush Sr, Cheney, (along with Laura, Barbara, and Lynn), all left before the celebratory luncheon. Considering that all of the other former presidents, VPs, and First and Second ladies were there, what gives?

(Hell, John McCain was there, even!)

I think it’s part of the tradition that outgoing President’s get the hell out of the way to allow the new guy the chance to work the room without the just-former-most-powerful hanging around and being a distraction.

Hell, time was the outgoing President immediately headed for Union Station and took the train home as soon as he saw the new one sworn in. No nothing. Some of them walked. It’s not far.

It would be awkward and disruptive for the outgoing president to be there and share the limelight with the new president. Also, even if the outgoing prez was specifically invited, he’d probably turn it down because he genuinly feels like leaving Washington and going home to relax.

The other former presidents were there but the public has had a few years to distance them from the office they once held.

Yes , even in business the old boss rarely stays around once he no longer runs the show. Or if they do stick around they take a special role and that is normally only for a short time.

Some people in the office were pissed off at Bush for this as well. I think they needed to get one final crack at the guy.

It was pointed out to them, correctly so in my opinion, that Bush was actually gracious to leave. After all, it’s Obama’s party. No need to steal any limelight at all from them.

Indeed. Clinton caught a considerable amount of criticism in 2001 by hanging around and inspecting troops at Andrews - networks were displaying this spectacle and the new president in split screen.

Bush remembered this, surely, and didn’t want to commit a similar blunder.

In fact, Bush didn’t even allow the press to broadcast his remarks at Andrews before he flew home.

If you were Bush, wouldn’t you?