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The Bushies Fire Back

Peter Baker writes for the New York Times that some former top Bush aides feel Obama "used his inaugural lectern to give the back of the hand to a predecessor who had been nothing but gracious to him.

"'There were a few sharp elbows that really rankled and I felt were not as magnanimous as the occasion called for,' Karen Hughes, a longtime Bush confidante, said in an interview. 'He really missed an opportunity to be as big as the occasion was and, frankly, as gracious as President Bush was as he left office.'

"Dan Bartlett, another top adviser, used similar language. 'It was a missed opportunity to bring some of the president's loyal supporters into the fold,' he said. Marc A. Thiessen, the chief White House speechwriter until this week, added: 'It was an ungracious inaugural. It was pretty clear he was taking shots.'"

Baker writes that Obama aides fired back yesterday: "'On both style and substance,' said Rahm Emanuel, the new White House chief of staff, the new president is 'turning the page.'

"Mr. Emanuel mocked Bush advisers for bristling at the message of the Inaugural Address. 'If they didn't know that was the judgment of people, then their subscription to the newspapers were canceled over the last three years,' he said."

By Dan Froomkin  |  January 23, 2009; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  Bush Rollback  
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