Age, personality, politics conspire to deny us a historic moment

There hasn’t been — and there isn’t going to be — anything classy or dignified about the transition of power in the United States and that pretty much is the way Americans have decided they want it.

Too bad. We’re missing out on some history we’ll never again likely have the opportunity to witness: Six living presidents all together. The only other time we’ve had six presidents alive at the same time is between 1992 and 1994 — Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton — and I’ve yet to find a photo of all of them together.

Not like the one we got eight years ago when we had five of them.


This picture from 2013 was even more remarkable. At the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the five lined up according to their service.

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 25:  (L-R) U.S. President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, former President George H.W. Bush and former President Jimmy Carter attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. The Bush library, which is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, with more than 70 million pages of paper records, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails and four million digital photographs, will be opened to the public on May 1, 2013. The library is the 13th presidential library in the National Archives and Records Administration system.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

So far, only President Jimmy Carter has confirmed he’ll attend the inauguration of a new president next month. George H.W. Bush is too infirmed to attend.