U.S. President George W. Bush has expressed regret that Republican presidential nominee John McCain did not win the presidency but called the election of Barack Obama "good for our country."
Speaking to CNN in an interview Tuesday, Bush described Monday's meeting with his successor at the White House as relaxed and said he offered the future president advice on the transition process.
"The election of Barack Obama is an historic moment for our country," Bush said. "There are a lot of people in America who did not believe they would ever see this day.
"It is good for our country that people have hope in the system and feel vested in the future and President-elect Obama has a great opportunity," Bush said.
"I really do wish him all the best. I am just as American as he is American, and it is good for our country that the president succeeds."
Bush described how he consulted his predecessor Bill Clinton before Monday's Oval Office meeting with the future commander in chief.
"I remember the conversation I had with my predecessor Bill Clinton," Bush told CNN in an interview Tuesday. As a matter of fact, called him yesterday and said, 'Bill, I'm getting ready to meet with the new president, and I remember how gracious you were to me. I hope I can be as gracious to President-elect Obama as you were to me.' ''
Bush also said Obama was specifically interested in how his two young daughters would adjust to life in the White House.
"It was interesting to watch him go upstairs," Bush said. "He wanted to see where his little girls were going to sleep. Clearly, this guy is going to bring a sense of family to the White House, and I hope Laura and I did the same thing.
But I believe he will, and I know his girls are on his mind and he wants to make sure that first and foremost, he is a good dad. And I think that's going to be an important part of his presidency."
Bush said he plans to return to Texas after he leaves office January 20 and "may write a book" but otherwise has few plans. "No doubt I'm heading straight home. I miss Texas; I love Texas; I've got a lot of friends in Texas.
"I'll probably get back and take a deep breath," he said.
Bush said he has begun to think about an outline for the book.
"I want people to know what it was like to make some of the decisions I had to make," he said. "In other words, what was the moment like? And I've had one of those presidencies where I've had to make some tough calls, and I want people to know the truth about what it was like sitting in the Oval Office."