US President-elect Bush Bids Farewell to TexasUS President-elect George W. Bush bid farewell to his hometown of Midland in Texas on Wednesday on his way to Washington for the swearing-in ceremony.
In a speech at the town, Bush praised the virtues of the town where he grew up, met his wife Laura Bush and started his oil business.
"Our deepest values in life often come from our earliest years, " he said, referring to his 1950s childhood and his 1975 return to Midland after studying at Harvard and Yale.
"It is here in Midland and in West Texas where I learned to respect people from different backgrounds," he said.
He was proud of the fact that his family had produced two presidents and one governor. His father George Bush occupied the White House from 1989 to 1993. His younger brother Jeb Bush is Florida governor.
"It seems improbable now but in that little house on Ohio Street, right down the road from here, it was hard to envision then the future of two presidents and a governor of Florida," Bush said.
His tour of Midland marked his last act in Texas as a private citizen. Bush stepped down as Texas governor on December 21 after being declared as president-elect.
Bush arrived at Midland by a Boeing 757 from Waco, a town near his ranch in Texas. It was the first time he had traveled as president-elect on a government plane.
Bush, who is expected to arrive in Washington on Wednesday night, planned to do a full run-through of his inaugural address, said Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer.
Bush's parents, former President George and Barbara Bush, are expected to arrive in Washington on Thursday for Saturday's swearing-in ceremony.
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