An unexpected moment from two presidents on Inauguration Day

Mark Segraves,

WASHINGTON – From the ceremonies to the celebrations, the presidential inauguration is a tradition that is highly scripted and precisely calculated.

However, four years ago during President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, something happened off-script. A newly sworn-in Obama hugged former President George W. Bush as Bush boarded a Marine helicopter to leave the U.S. Capitol and his presidency.

Wolf Blitzer described what happened that day on CNN.

“President of the United States Barack Obama – he’s escorting the former president to that Marine Corps helicopter,” Blitzer announced.

Long-time presidential advisor and CNN contributor David Gergen remarked that something different happened as Obama and the first lady walked all the way to the helicopter with the former president and the former first lady.

“I can’t remember a new president escorting the old president out to the helicopter and saying goodbye in this way,” Gergen said on CNN.

Gergen was correct. That is not how the departure of the former president and first lady was supposed to happen. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer says it was his job to escort the two presidents out of the Capitol that day.

As Gainer walked the Obamas and Bushes through the Capitol Rotunda on the way to the east steps of the Capitol, Obama leaned over and asked him a question.

“He said,