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Quiet In Crawford As Bush Readies For Retirement

From CBS News' White House Correspondent Mark Knoller:

CRAWFORD, Texas – No one here is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. And we don't expect to see President Bush shirtless showing off his pects and six-pack abs.

While President-elect Barack Obama and his family vacation in the 50th state, George Bush is making his last visit as president to his Texas ranch.

Unusually strong winds were blowing as Air Force One landed in Waco this morning. Mr. Bush carried his dog Barney off the plane and onto Marine One for the short flight to his 1,600-acre spread.

The next time he returns – presumably on the afternoon of Jan. 20 – he'll fly here on the same 747. But its call-sign won't be Air Force One, since he will no longer be president.

Accompanying him on this last presidential visit home were the First Lady and Bush's parents – who have already been through the experience of leaving the pinnacle of political power and returning to private life.

But unlike his dad, President Bush got to serve two terms and seems at ease with the prospect of leaving the presidency in 25 days. Unlike a number of his predecessors, he doesn't appear to be trying to hold back the calendar.

In fact, Mr. Bush often jokes about being "headed to retirement" to a life of barbecuing in the backyard.

In one of his recent interviews, he said the First Lady has an "idyllic vision" of him in a little apron "flipping burgers" with a new set of barbecue tools.

And once he leaves the world stage – he says he intends to keep a low profile.

"No, no, we're not going to tell President-elect Obama how to run his administration, nor will I spend a lot of time second-guessing him," said Mr. Bush in a recent appearance before the American Enterprise Institute.

"I believe once the president gets off the stage, you get off the stage and let the next man do the job," he declared.

He'll be building a presidential library and policy center on the Dallas campus of Southern Methodist University, of which Laura Bush is a proud alumnus.

The Bushes have bought themselves a home in Dallas, though only Mrs. Bush has seen it. Asked if the President will use this trip to get a look at the place, a spokesman said there were no plans for that. He said Mr. Bush would have plenty of time to see the home after Jan. 20.

This latest trip home is Pres. Bush's 77th visit to his ranch since taking office. And his 7-day stay will bring to 490 the number of full or partial days he has spent at the ranch as President.

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