(from left) Cynthia White, George W. Bush, Ron White
Ron and Cynthia White visit with George W. Bush in the Oval Office
(from left) Peter Wehner, Cynthia White, George W. Bush, Ron White, and Bill Allman chat on the White House lawn.
In planning the research for my forthcoming Lincoln biography, I envisioned how helpful it would be to see the living quarters of the White House, especially the Lincoln bedroom, which was actually the Lincoln office. I submitted a standard request and was greatly surprised when President George W. Bush invited Cynthia and me to meet with him in the Oval Office on May 3, before the tour. Our ten minute appointment turned into a thirty-five minute meeting. It turns out that during the summer of 2006, President Bush read Lincoln’s Greatest Speech on his summer vacation and wrote a thoughtful thank you letter. At our meeting in May, we talked a great deal about many facets of Lincoln’s leadership.
Afterwards, White House Curator, Bill Allman, led us on a one hour tour of the living quarters of the White House. Although the living quarters were completely renovated during the Truman years, I found it incredibly illuminating to experience, firsthand, the places where Lincoln lived and worked.