Bush to Give Farewell Address, Obama Welcome

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 13, 2009 7:44 AM CST
President George W. Bush holds his last formal news conference at the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 12, 2009.    (J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – President Bush will take the spotlight one last time in a farewell address Thursday that the administration is billing as a chance to reflect on his presidency and pass the torch to Barack Obama. Bush will deliver the speech, expected to run 10-15 minutes, from the ornate East Room of the White House before a small audience of people chosen for their stories of personal courage.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Bush will "uphold the tradition of presidents using farewell addresses to look forward—by sharing his thoughts on greatest challenges facing the country, and on what it will take to meet them." The president also will defend his record, Perino said, but will welcome Obama, not refight old battles. It will be the last scheduled event for Bush until Inauguration Day, which he predicted in his press conference yesterday will be "amazing," saying he's glad to have a front-row seat.