Obama his sense of how to deal with some of the most important issues of the day. But exactly how he does that, I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody will know,” Bush’s chief of staff John Bolten told the Associated Press ahead of the meeting.
This is Obama’s first visit to Oval Office and second time meeting Bush. The first was in 2005 when Obama was sworn in as an Illinois senator. The Democrat wrote about the encounter in his second book The Audacity of Hope, saying Bush shook his hand, after which an aid “squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the president’s hand.”
Bush then pulled Obama to the side and offered the freshman senator a piece of advice. “When you get a lot of attention like you’ve been getting, people start gunnin’ for ya. And it won’t necessarily just be coming from my side, you understand. From yours, too. Everybody’ll be waiting for you to slip. Know what I mean? So watch yourself.”
Obama and Bush did come to an agreement when it came to the $700 billion rescue plan for the financial sector. As Congress hashed out the rescue plan presidential contender Sen. John McCain was one of the key lawmakers who struck down the effort. Obama and Bush saw the package as necessary to keep the economy afloat. A lame duck Congress will convene later this month in an effort to pass an additional stimulus plan for the middle class. Part of the plan will likely include an “extension of unemployment insurance benefits for workers who cannot find work in the increasingly weak economy,” Obama said.