One month out, Jimmy Carter is the only former president to RSVP to President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, while Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are putting off their decision until the new year.
The Clintons have been keeping a low profile since the election and have made no decisions about whether to attend, according to a person familiar with the planning. Angel Urena, a spokesman for Bill Clinton, declined to comment.
Bush’s spokesman, Freddy Ford, told POLITICO that the most recent Republican president will not announce whether he will attend until the new year, while a source familiar with the matter said Bush is also still weighing whether to show up. George W. Bush had tweeted out a statement of congratulations to Trump after the election, but neither he nor his father endorsed Trump, who often mocked his brother Jeb throughout the GOP primary.
George H.W. Bush has confirmed that he will not be at the inauguration, according to his spokesman, Jim McGrath, who cited the 41st president’s age, 92, as the reason why he will skip.
Carter, who endorsed Clinton, announced at his Sunday school class in Georgia earlier this month that he would attend the inauguration.
Following tradition, all former presidents are invited to attend the ceremony on Jan. 20 when Trump will be sworn in. But not all living presidents have consistently attended the inaugurations of their successors.
President Barack Obama in 2009 enjoyed the presence of all four living presidents— both Bushes, Carter and Clinton — at his first inauguration, but the Bushes skipped Obama’s second event in 2013, citing George H.W. Bush’s compromised health.
George W. Bush also did not have a full slate of former presidents at his second inauguration in 2005, as Gerald Ford skipped the event. He was 91, and died the next year.
For Trump’s inauguration, the Clinton camp has been especially divided over whether Bill Clinton should accept his invitation as a former president.
After a particularly personal and vicious presidential contest between Trump and Hillary Clinton, the former president has been leaning toward skipping the inauguration confab, according to a source in the Clinton camp.
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SOURCE: Politico, Tara Palmeri