In any event, here's an amusing excerpt from Obama's book on the first time he met W.
The inside of the White House doesn't have the luminous quality that you might expect from television or film; it seems well kept but worn, a big old house that one imagines might be a bit drafty on cold winter nights.
On a chilly January afternoon in 2005, the day before my swearing-in as a senator, I was invited there with other new members of Congress. At 1600 hours on the dot, President Bush was announced and walked to the podium, looking vigorous and fit, with that jaunty, determined walk that suggests he's on a schedule and wants to keep detours to a minimum. For 10 or so minutes he spoke to the room, making a few jokes, calling for the country to come together, before inviting us for refreshments and a picture with him and the First Lady...
"Obama!" he said, shaking my hand. "Come here and meet Laura. Laura, you remember Obama. We saw him on TV during election night. Beautiful family. And that wife of yours - that's one impressive lady."
"We both got better than we deserve, Mr. President," I said, shaking the First Lady's hand and hoping that I'd wiped any crumbs off my face.
The president turned to an aide nearby, who squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the president's hand.
"Want some?" the president asked. "Good stuff. Keeps you from getting colds." Not wanting to seem unhygienic, I took a squirt.
"Come over here for a second," he said, leading me off to one side of the room.
"You know," he said quietly, "I hope you don't mind me giving you a piece of advice."
"Not at all, Mr. President." He nodded.
"You've got a bright future," he said. "Very bright. But I've been in this town a while and, let me tell you, it can be tough. When you get a lot of attention like you've been getting, people start gunnin' for ya. And it won't necessarily just be coming from my side, you understand. From yours, too. Everybody'll be waiting for you to slip. Know what I mean? So watch yourself."
"Thanks for the advice, Mr. President."
"All right. I gotta get going. You know, me and you got something in common."
"We both had to debate Alan Keyes. That guy's a piece of work, isn't he?"
I laughed, and as we walked to the door I told him a few stories from the campaign.
It wasn't until he had left the room that I realized I had briefly put my arm over his shoulder as we talked -- an unconscious habit of mine, but one that I suspected might have made many of my friends, not to mention the Secret Service agents in the room, more than a little uneasy.