The first family and first family in waiting were spending the New Year’s weekend outside the Beltway.
With his brother Roger recording the scene on film, President Clinton left the White House by helicopter Saturday to spend the last New Year’s weekend of his presidency at Camp David, Md.
President-elect George W. Bush relaxed Saturday at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, two hours northwest of Austin, a spokesman said. He also conferred with aides by phone.
The president and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton walked hand-in-hand with Roger’s son, Tyler, to the helicopter, followed by Hillary’s brother Hugh, who also went to Camp David.
Just before reaching the helicopter, Clinton realized his aides had forgotten to bring his dog Buddy along for the trip. The family waited at the foot of the aircraft while Clinton asked aides to find the dog. He stood talking to Roger, who was dressed head-to-toe in a red Arkansas Razorbacks sweatsuit, while the dog was located.
The first family will return to Washington on Tuesday for the beginning of two days of celebrations and ceremonies surrounding the first lady’s swearing in on the Senate floor Wednesday as the junior senator from New York.
The president will attend a reception honoring the senator-to-be Tuesday night and will watch the next day from the Senate gallery as she takes the oath of office, spokesman Jake Siewert said.
In Texas, Bush was “chopping cedar and talking to staff,” spokesman Ari Fleischer said. Bush plans to spend New Year’s Eve at the ranch and will return to Austin on Monday.
Bush, who named several people to Cabinet positions last week, has three regular Cabinet posts left to fill--the secretaries of Labor, Transportation and Energy.