Sometime in the past 25 years, probably after an election cycle, I wondered out loud why former presidents seemed to go into exile and all their experience was wasted. I now know the former presidents do interact—at least most of them do. The President’s Club is a New York Times Bestseller about “The World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity.” Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, (Simon & Schuster 2012).
I’m seven pages in and have a dozen quotes already.
On the night of Kennedy’s murder, LBJ said to Dwight Eisenhower, “I need you more than ever now.” The former president drove to Washington, “came to the Oval Office, and wrote out on a legal pad what he thought Johnson should say to an emergency joint session of Congress.”
There is a brownstone across the street from the White House used for meetings of former presidents and their families.
Richard Nixon said to Ronald Reagan on Reagan’s election in 1980:
“President Eisenhower said to me when I visited him at Walter Reed Hospital after the election of 1968, ‘I am yours to command.’ Nixon told Reagan, ‘I now say the same to you.’”
Bill Clinton speaks of himself as one of the Bush family, albeit the black sheep. The affection between the two Bush presidents and Mr. Clinton has been good for America and the world’s poor and hurting.
In a great interview last week, President George W. was talking about the interaction among the former presidents and was asked if President Obama ever called him. The answer was predictable—at least I wasn’t surprised.
There is something mighty and powerful in the words, “I am yours to command.”
I heard personal instructions this morning as I read an Internet journal. Franklin Graham said interceding for President Obama is now imperative. After reading words of Leon Panetta today that his former boss has lost his way, I feel compelled to pray for the president and invite you to join me.
©2014 D. Dean Benton—http://www.bentonministries.com Facebook pages: Benton Quest House and Dean Benton
I was looking through Mosquito Park Secrets for a quote and concluded that I would like that book even I hadn’t written it. Check it out on our website.