Circle of presidential power

November 10, 1997

The New York Times said in an editorial Friday:

IT IS RARE that four living presidents get together and compliment each other, but it ought to happen more often. As Jimmy Carter noted at the dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library, the ex-presidents' club is a small one, and its meetings convey a reassuring sense of continuity and resilience.

During the ceremonies at Texas A & M University, one of the day's themes was muted but powerful. As Nancy Reagan spoke of her husband's Oval Office lunches with Mr. Bush, one realized that White House time really does fly. Presidencies last an eye blink or two. Yet the shining Republic endures by the homely magic of one citizen giving way to another, exchanging a salute in passing.

So Mr. Bush, whose 1992 defeat was one of the century's astonishing political collapses, cheerfully hailed President Clinton for retiring him ''fair and square.'' Mr. Clinton responded with a surprisingly detailed tribute to Mr. Bush as a counselor and role model. It was, for all hands, a healthy day's work in Texas.

Pub Date: 11/10/97

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