It looks like an almost-full complement of ex-presidents will be watching from the inaugural stand when Donald Trump takes the oath of office Jan. 20 — along with the candidate Trump defeated in the bitter 2016 campaign.
Aides to Hillary and Bill Clinton tell NPR’s Tamara Keith that the 2016 Democratic nominee and former president will attend the ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this month.
President George W. Bush’s office announced earlier that he and former first lady Laura will also attend. Jimmy Carter had previously announced his intention to be on hand.
That leaves only President George H.W. Bush absent. A spokesman tells NPR that “at ages 92 and 91– and all that entails — President and Mrs. Bush will be unable to attend.” Bush has had serious health issues in recent years.
While it may make for an awkward few moments for Mrs. Clinton, she is hardly the first to watch the candidate she lost to being sworn in. In 2008, Republican Sen. John McCain had a ringside seat as Barack Obama took the oath, and in 2000, outgoing Vice President Al Gore looked on as as George W. Bush was sworn in.
Gore also had to preside over the official tally of the Electoral College votes in Congress in his official capacity as vice president. Congress officially tallies the 2016 Electoral College vote to certify Trump as the winner on Friday.
Of course President Obama will be there, too, on Inauguration Day — taking his place as the fifth living ex-president once Trump is sworn in.