Three former national leaders — former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair — apparently are going to be together in Little Rock this week.
Ernest Dumas reports overnight that logistical preparations are underway in Little Rock for a joint appearance of three men at the graduation ceremony at Central High School for the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program of four presidential libraries — Clinton, George H.W. and George W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson. Monthly weekend meetings over a six-month period provide networking and educational programs for the scholars, who hold promise as future leaders.
This is the second graduation of the program. The first was in Dallas. The three former leaders will speak to the 2016 class at a graduation ceremony Thursday and mingle with them at a reception that evening at the Clinton Presidential Center, according to reports Dumas has received. No public announcement of the event has been made, though we had noted previously that Blair was scheduled to speak Friday to invited guests in the Kumpuris Lecture Series held in conjunction with the Clinton Presidential Center. The leadership program graduation apparently explains how he’ll happen to be in the city.
At this link you can see the 60 people chosen to participate in this year’s leadership program and get an idea of the programs in which they participated.
The 60 could be expected to have plenty to ask the presidents about. The current presidential race featuring Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, whose candidacy has caused the Bush family to pass on the Republican National Convention. Brexit. Of particular moment for two of them is the war in Iraq, in the news again because of the Chilcot report last week in England that was harshly critical of the decision to go to war and thrashed Blair for being too heavily influenced by Bush and his faulty intelligence. (At the New York Times link you can watch Blair’s continuing defense of his decision on video.)
I”ve done some rudimentary searching, but haven’t turned up a previous joint appearance of the three men.