Gospel Lives in the Oval Office

New biography reflects on Billy Graham's counsel to 8 of last 9 presidents
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2007 12:41 PM CDT
Gospel Lives in the Oval Office
from left, Franklin Graham and Billy Graham sit with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton during a dedication ceremony for the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 31, 2007. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)   (Associated Press)

Billy Graham has seen US leaders laid bare, from skinny-dipping with LBJ to long walks on the beach with GWB. A new book details the ailing 88-year-old preacher’s rendezvous with presidents past, including counseling Ford to pardon Nixon and advising Hillary Clinton to look past Monica Lewinsky. Graham’s refusal to be a party booster has lent him his independent spiritual voice, Bloomberg reports.

The swimming session came shortly after Johnson took office, as the men talked of healing a country torn over JFK’s assassination. Only Carter held out in befriending the holy man; Graham even elicited emotion from Nixon, hugging the future president at his mother’s funeral. But perhaps his most critical work was the 1985 waterfront conversion of the elder Bush’s heir. (More Billy Graham stories.)

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