In a brief statement from the White House Rose Garden, President Bush pledged "complete cooperation" from his administration to President-elect Obama, noted the historic nature of Obama's election and praised Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for a "determined campaign" and a lifetime of service.
Bush said he had a "warm conversation" Tuesday night with Obama and that he has invited the president-elect and Michelle Obama to visit the White House in the near future. He said he would keep the president-elect "fully informed" about important decisions during the remainder of his term.
"No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday," Bush said. "They chose a president whose journey represents a triumph of the American story; a testament to hard work, optimism and faith in the enduring promise of our nation."
Bush noted the election was particularly historic for a generation that witnessed the civil rights struggle 40 years ago and saw the election of the first black president of the United States.
"A long campaign has now ended and we move forward as one nation, embarking on a period of change in Washington," Bush said, echoing the slogans of both campaigns. Although his term is near its close, Bush said his administration would continue working to protect Americans, and issued a warning to the world that "this commitment will remain steadfast under our next commander in chief."
Bush said it would be a "stirring sight" to watch Obama and his family enter the White House and, in a poignant note, added that Obama's late mother and grandparents would have been thrilled to see him take the oath of office. Obama's grandmother died Sunday.