Former President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty

Clinton, Bush team up to launch leadership program


Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are teaming up with four presidential centers, including their own, to launch a leadership program: “The Presidential Leadership Scholars.”

The presidential centers of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson are joining with the 42nd and 43rd presidents to educate “motivated leaders across all sectors” with an initiative that taps “key administration officials, practitioners, and leading academics” for their insights, according to a media release about the event.

Participants will tackle issues and challenges in their own professional lives through the course, applying what they’ve learned to solve them.

Bush and Clinton will unveil the program and its details at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on September 8th.

Since their presidencies, the pair has struck up a friendship of sorts: they sat together during the NCAA Final Four championship game in Texas, and when the younger Bush doused himself with ice water for ALS’s Ice Bucket Challenge, he nominated Clinton. 

Before that, Clinton and the elder Bush teamed up – nominated by the then-president, George W. Bush, to tour tsunami-devastated countries in Southeast Asia, to lead relief effort in 2005. They even got jocular with each on Air Force One, pushing the other to take the one bed on board. (Clinton won, the 41st president slept in the plane’s stateroom.) In early 2010, the younger Bush and Clinton teamed up to lead relief efforts in Haiti on behalf of President Obama when a massive earthquake devastated the island country.

Still others have speculated that if Bush’s older brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, runs for president in 2016, he and Clinton’s wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might be matched against each other in a dynastic election that could put the two increasingly friendly families at odds.