By Arun Kumar, IANS,
Washington : Embracing Barack Obama’s message of change, President George W. Bush promised to give his administration’s “complete cooperation” as his successor makes his transition to becoming the commander-in-chief in 76 days.
In brief remarks from the White House Wednesday, Bush said he would keep Obama informed on all his decisions between now and Jan 20 when Obama would take over as the country’s 44th president.
He looked forward to the day – soon, he hopes – that Obama and his family would take him up on his offer of a pre-inauguration White House visit, he said.
Acknowledging the historical significance of the nation electing its first African-American president, Bush called it a “triumph in the American story” and told Americans it was a time to be proud.
“No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday,” he said.
“They showed a watching world the vitality of America’s democracy and the strides we have made toward a more perfect union.”
He said that Obama’s election was a historic breakthrough in a country that has had monumental civil rights battles.
Bush called Obama’s win an “impressive victory” and said it represented strides “toward a more perfect Union”. He said the choice of Obama was ” a
triumph of the American story, a testament to hard work, optimism and faith
in the enduring promise of our nation.”
He recalled the millions of blacks who turned out to vote for one of their own, saying he realises many never fully believed they would live to see this day.
“It will be a stirring sight to see President Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their beautiful girls step through the doors of the White House,” the president said.
“I know millions of Americans will be overcome with pride at this inspiring moment that so many have waited so long.”
Bush ended his speech mentioning what has been the centrepiece of Obama’s campaign: change.
“A long campaign has ended and we move forward as one nation, embarking on a period of change in Washington,” he said.
Bush also paid tribute to John McCain and Sarah Palin, the losing canidates of his own Republican party.
“The American people will always be grateful for the lifetime of service John McCain has devoted to this nation, and I know he’ll continue to make tremendous contributions to our country,” Bush said.