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Presidents Bush enjoy grilled cheese and cheeseburger at lunch

By Jimmy Orr / January 8, 2009

Jake Turcotte / AP photo

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It was kinda like the SuperFriends having lunch.

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Presidents Bush, Bush, Clinton, and Carter had lunch with the new member of the club yesterday – President-elect Barack Obama – at the White House.

Let's do lunch

The idea for the ultra-exclusive lunch came from the new guy. Obama thought it would be a good idea to get the gang together.

It's the first time a whole group of living presidents came together to eat in 27 years.

What'd they eat?

As for the eats, White House sources tell us that President Bush 43 had a grilled cheese sandwich. President Bush 41, however, had a cheeseburger.

As for the other attendees, we struck out. We couldn't get that intelligence. (Keep checking back for updates however).

But we know they ordered from the White House mess. That leaves the options wide open. The menu is always changing, but it's got the basics: steaks, chicken, fish, vegetarian stuff, low-fat options, hamburgers, hot dogs, the works.

Conversation

Some would say more importantly the question is:  What did they talk about?  Oh, to be a fly in the wall for that conversation... Or even a fly in the soup.

Well, you've got the press secretaries saying what you would expect them to say.

Old friend Dana Perino said, "President Bush was delighted to have the former presidents and President-elect Obama to the White House today for a historic lunch in the Private Dining Room just off of the Oval Office. Each of them expressed their desire for President-elect Obama to have a very successful presidency. During the lunch, they had a wide-ranging discussion on many different issues facing the United States, and they all look forward to remaining in contact in the future."

While the incoming press secretary Robert Gibbs offered, "They had a very constructive conversation. The President-elect was grateful for their counsel and the spirit of bipartisanship they showed in wishing his Administration success in meeting the challenges we all share as Americans. The President and the former Presidents had helpful advice on managing the office as well as thoughts on the critical issues facing the country right now. The President-elect is anxious to stay in touch with all of them in the coming years."

Obama spills the beans

Obama was more forthcoming than his press secretary (which is how press secretaries keep their jobs) in an interview last night with John Harwood of CNBC.

"Well, first of all, Pres. Bush has been incredibly gracious," Obama said.  "The transition, I think, has been as smooth as any we've seen in history, partly because President Bush and Josh Bolten and his team have worked very closely with ours."

"And all of the former presidents as well as current President Bush, I think, have a unique understanding of what the pressures and possibilities of that office," he continued.  "And so they gave me good counsel, not just on specific issues, but more importantly, some of the typical problems that you may end up confronting in the office."

"How do you make sure that you get good information? How do you make sure that people aren't just telling you what you want to hear? How do you make sure that people are thinking as a team instead of promoting their own individual agendas. And so I found it very helpful. All of them have insights that I hope to apply when I'm president."

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