President Bush kept a low profile Tuesday, but worked a full day at the White House before celebrating his wife’s 62nd birthday and watching election returns on the day that America voted to select his successor.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said the president and first lady Laura Bush had “a small dinner in the residence” on Tuesday night, as they watched election returns come in.
Mrs. Bush returned Monday from a four-day trip, during which she campaigned for Republican congressional candidates in Mississippi and Kentucky.
“In celebration of Mrs. Bush’s birthday, they shared a meal of some of her favorite dishes and a coconut birthday cake.
“Mrs. Bush said the president gave her a pair of beautiful earrings to celebrate her day,” Mrs. Perino said.
Mr. Bush, who voted for Republican candidate John McCain by mail-in absentee ballot in late October, had no public events for the fifth consecutive day, attempting to keep himself out of sight.
Democrats have said a vote for Mr. McCain would be akin to continuing Mr. Bush’s policies, and so the president removed himself almost entirely from the public eye over the last few days before the election.
The president worked at the White House during the day, conducting “private briefings and meetings,” Mrs. Perino said. She declined to elaborate.