Duties completed,the Bushes depart

With a blown kiss out the window of the presidential limousine,George W Bush departed the White House...

Written by The Washington Post | Washington | Published:January 22, 2009 11:47 pm

With a blown kiss out the window of the presidential limousine,George W Bush departed the White House on Tuesday,closing out a presidency that spanned the height of popularity and depth of public disdain.

The former President and his wife Laura boarded a Marine helicopter for Andrews Air Force Base,where they attended a 20-minute sendoff with family and friends.

The Bushes stepped onto one of the blue-and-gold Boeing 747s that carried him all over the world. He traveled first to his boyhood home town of Midland,Texas,where 20,000 supporters gathered in Centennial Plaza for a welcome-home rally similar to a goodbye celebration on the same spot eight years earlier. The Bushes spent their first night as a former President and first lady at the family ranch in Crawford,Texas.

Bush issued no new presidential pardons in his final hours in office,holding true to his tightfisted record on clemency.

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