Obama to meet George H.W. Bush

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There is a long tradition of sitting Presidents courting, relying on and even plotting with their predecessors, and the latest chapter is set to unfold Friday afternoon when former President George Herbert Walker Bush, accompanied by former Secretary of State James Baker, greets Barack Obama as he steps off a Marine Corps helicopter in College Station, Texas.

At Bush's invitation, the 44th Commander in Chief is paying a long-planned visit to the home of Bush's presidential library to mark the 20th anniversary of the voluntarism initiative begun by the former President in 1989.

After being introduced by Bush, Obama will speak on community service before 2,500 people in Rudder Auditorium on the campus of Texas A&M University. Obama is expected to pay tribute to Bush's Points of Light Initiative, a community-service and charitable works program he launched in the early days of his presidency in 1989. Joining the two men on stage will be Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense and former president of the university, who has worked for both Presidents.

The meeting has been in the works for months, almost since the earliest days of the Obama Administration, and postponed at least once. It is just the most recent display of bipartisan goodwill between current and past holders of the highest office in the land. These alliances often span vast differences in both ideology and age: Richard Nixon paid a secret visit to Bill Clinton, 33 years his junior, to discuss Russia policy in 1993; Herbert Hoover met with John F. Kennedy, 38 years his junior, before he was inaugurated in 1960. Bush, at 85, is 37 years older than Obama, who is 48...

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