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Bush: Obama's High Profile Is No 'Intrusion'

By Dan Eggen
President Bush says Barack Obama is not overstepping any boundaries by assuming a high profile before taking office, and the current president vowed to continue briefing his successor about major economic and national-security developments over the next seven weeks.

"I don't feel any intrusion whatsoever, because he knows what I know," Bush said in an interview with ABC News conducted late last week at Camp David. "Our administration still will be making the decisions necessary until he becomes the president."

Bush added that the transition to an Obama presidency comes at a "unique period" in U.S. history with two ongoing wars and a global financial crisis. "The more we can work together, the better our country will be," Bush said.

The interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson came at the end of a remarkable week in which Obama held three Chicago news conferences in as many days to discuss his economic plans and make early staffing announcements. Obama held another news conference this morning announcing his nomination of an eclectic national-security team, including Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as secretary of state and Bush's defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, to continue as Pentagon chief.

The interview also included some notable admissions of error by a president who was once unable to supply an answer when asked about his biggest mistake at a news conference. Bush told Gibson he was "unprepared" for war and said faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq marked the "biggest regret" of his presidency.

"I think I was unprepared for war," Bush said. "In other words, I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack.' In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents -- one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen."

Bush sidestepped a question from Gibson about whether Obama's strong election victory marked a personal repudiation. "I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," he said. "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me. I think most people voted for Barack Obama because they decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy."

But Bush also dismissed a suggestion that Obama staffers could be allowed to work alongside current administration officials prior to the Jan. 20 inauguration. "I don't think so, and I don't think he would want that," Bush said of Obama. "I think he's going to want to be able to come in fresh. On the other hand, he does want, and I think his team will want, to be fully briefed on any further difficulties until he's sworn in."

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 1, 2008; 1:04 PM ET
Categories:  43 , Barack Obama  
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Comments

I'm proud of President Bush on the way he is helping on the transition of the presidential power. I don't recall any other president doing so much to help-or at least an event such as this ever been in the media.

I didn't vote for President-elect Obama but I'm glad to know and proud that he is selecting his cabinet and making it public before his inauguration. I think this will help our country all the way around. Some may disagree on his selections but there will always be disagreement who is selected.

Posted by: eltomwellswp | December 2, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

ptgrunner:

Sorry, but according to the U.S. Constitution, George WALKER Bush is President until January 20, 2009. Even if something happened to him before that, Richard BRUCE Cheney would be President until then. Are you even a U.S. citizen?

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

The sooner Obama and his posse "intrude" and start making decisions instead of Bush, the better off the U.S. and the rest of the world will be.

Bush, just go away NOW.

Posted by: ptgrunner | December 1, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

The money quote: "Our administration still will be making the decisions necessary until he becomes the president."

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Sounds good to me.

Posted by: JakeD | December 1, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

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