Was President Bush tempted to pick up one of those phones and make a prank call?
Political advisor Mark McKinnon:
As [President Bush] toured the cabin of the airplane throughout the flight, visiting with old friends, family, and staffers, he was filled with equanimity, grace, and a generosity of spirit.
Bush has gotten to know Obama during this transition period and he has a pretty good gut for people. His gut tells him Obama has what it takes to be a successful leader.
And while I’m reluctant to quote the president directly from private conversations, I think I can fairly report that he feels a genuine warmth for President Obama. He admires his sense of family, his relaxed and easygoing nature, and his character. He has gotten to know him during this transition period and he has a pretty good gut for people. His gut tells him Obama has what it takes to be a successful leader. Not yet tested. Not yet proved he is willing to make difficult and unpopular decisions. But the potential is clearly there.
And it’s nice to see that while some partisans have yet to sheath their swords, Obama too has warmed to President Bush during this period of peaceful, diplomatic, and graceful transition. He now believes, as does anyone who knows President Bush, that he is a “good guy” and that “he made the best decisions that he could at times under some very difficult circumstances.”
I also know the Obama team has deeply appreciated the degree to which President Bush and his staff went out of their way to make for a smooth transition.