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Obama to attend George W. Bush presidential library opening

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about strengthening the economy for the middle class and measures to combat gun violence during a visit t
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about strengthening the economy for the middle class and measures to combat gun violence during a visit t

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will join all four living former U.S. presidents at ceremonies marking the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library later this month, the White House said on Wednesday.

It will mark the first time since January 2009 that the so-called "presidents club" has gotten together. Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton will gather in Dallas at Southern Methodist University for the younger Bush's event on April 25.

Obama will attend the library opening with his wife, Michelle. Clinton will be joined by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Bush, who had a health scare in December, will be with wife Barbara.

The rare gathering of Obama and his predecessors will be a powerful symbol of American democracy, but it also brings together what can best be described as strange bedfellows.

Obama won the election in 2008 by campaigning hard against Bush's economic record, the same tactic that Clinton used to defeat the elder Bush in the 1992 campaign.

And Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1983, is lambasted still today by Republicans for presiding over a tepid economy.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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