On One Stage: Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Carter

All living former presidents get together for hurricane relief effort
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 22, 2017 3:33 AM CDT
Ex-Presidents Club Reunites for Hurricane Relief
Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter place their hands on their chest for the national anthem at the opening of a hurricanes relief concert in College Station, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The five living former presidents put aside politics and appeared together for the first time since 2013 at a concert on Saturday to raise money for victims of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George H.W. and George W. Bush gathered in College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, home to the presidential library of the elder Bush. At 93, he has a form of Parkinson's disease and appeared in a wheelchair at the event, reports the AP. His wife, Barbara, and George W. Bush's wife, Laura, were in the audience. Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the concert that also featured country music band Alabama, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer 'Soul Man' Sam Moore, gospel legend Yolanda Adams, and Texans Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.

The appeal backed by the ex-presidents has raised $31 million since Sept. 7, said a rep for the elder Bush. President Trump offered a video greeting that avoided his past criticism of the former presidents and called them "some of America's finest public servants." Four of the five—Obama, George W. Bush, Carter, and Clinton—made brief remarks that did not mention Trump. The elder Bush did not speak but smiled and waved. "The heart of America, without regard to race or religion or political party, is greater than our problems," said Clinton. The last time the five were together was in 2013, when Obama was still in office, at the dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas. "It's certainly a triple, if not a home run, every time," said a political science professor. "When (presidents) send out a call for help, especially on something that's not political, they can rake in big money."

(More President Obama stories.)

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