Obama and Bush in White House meetingPresident George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, Nov. 10, 2008. White House photo by Eric Draper
Bush and Obama, who routed the incumbent's fellow Republican and chosen successor John McCain in the November 4 election, met privately for about an hour in the chamber from which the US president makes world-shaping decisions.
Obama and wife Michelle Obama had arrived about 10 minutes early for their two-hour visit and got a warm welcome from Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the mansion's South Portico, a gateway to the mansion for many world leaders.
As their wives took a tour of the 132-room White House's residential areas, the 43rd president and his successor strolled along the Rose Garden and into the Oval Office, Obama's first ever visit to the storied seat of power.
Bush guided Obama into the room for private, one-on-one talks 71 days before the Democrat formally becomes the first black US president and inherits two wars and a global economic crisis that some compare to the Great Depression.
The outgoing leader described the talks as "good, constructive, relaxed and friendly," said spokeswoman Dana Perino.