Essentially this is just a social visit but underscoring the polite niceties there is an active Bush political agenda at work in the background.
The President may be making public declarations of co-operation with the in-coming administration but mostly he is a player in an elaborate piece of ideological theater.
Behind the scenes his aides have been working feverishly to ram through the remaining items left on the Bush agenda.
Those aides have been particularly focused on the environment and on further weakening regulations that promotes clean air and water and protects endangered species.
The Secretary of the Interior, Dick Kempthorne, is in the process of dropping the requirement for US agencies to consult with scientists before they take on projects that could threaten wildlife thatÂ are on the Endangered Species list.
â€œThis proposed rule change is obviously a Hail Mary pass to industry friends in the final days of the Bush administration,â€ said Janette Brimmer, a lawyer with Earthjustice.
A broad range of conservation groups sees the move by Kempthorne as an attempt to gut the Endangered Species Act.
â€œItâ€™s a scary proposition to think about agencies with no wildlife expertise at all making decisions about the fate of species, potentially leading to extinction,â€ said Michael Daulton of the National Audubon Society.
President Bush has previously been severely criticized for his record on endangered species. Since he took office only 58 species have been added to the list as compared to 522 species during the Clinton 8 years and 231 species added by his father during his one term administration.
Last Tuesday the Bureau of Land Management announced that they were expanding its oil and gas program in Utah. The program opens up tens of thousands acres of pristine landscapeÂ for drilling and mining on or near the boundaries of three national parks.
The National Parks Service wasnâ€™t given the traditional amount of time to comment on the impact of the oil leases on the surrounding environment. â€œThis is the first time where we have not had sufficient opportunity to comment,â€ said Michael Snyder, regional Director for the park service, based in Denver.
Environmentalists and National ParkÂ officialsÂ wonder why Utah is even being considered as a source of oil and gas. At best Utah has 2.5 percent of the known US natural gas reserves and less than 1 percent of the nationâ€™s oil.
There may a clue available from a deal that Gale Norton, a Secretary of the Interior in the first Bush administration, struck in 2003 with the Governor of Utah to open up 3 million acres of the state for drilling. Ms. Norton is now a senior oil executive with Royal Dutch Shell.
Other areas that Bush aides have in their sights include the health of women.
The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to release new rules that would further limit a womanâ€™s access to an abortion, contraceptives and information that they might need to make effective decisions about their health care options.
The law, as it now stands, allows Doctors and Nurses to refuse participating in an abortion. The new rules would extend that right of refusal to a wide range of health care workers and activities, including referrals, counseling and providing birth control pills or emergency contraception.
This potentially means that your pharmacist could refuse to fillÂ a birth control prescription or a counselor could neglect to offer abortion as an option to a rape victim.
Those busy Bush aides are also looking at Civil Liberties and ways that they make the job of spying on Americans easier for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
Without any evidence of wrongdoing law agencies can now infiltrate lawful groups, participate in prolonged surveillances and lie about their identities when questioning your friends and neighbors. The new guidelines could mean that the cable guy could in fact be a federal agent collecting information on someone who has not done anything wrong.
One thing that President Bush wonâ€™t be changing at the last minute is closing the prison in Guantanamo Bay.
Bush has said that he wants to have the prison closed as does his Secretary Of State, Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates, the Secretary Of Defense. Both are supporting the closing and have prepared detailed proposals in order to accomplish that. Under the objections and pressures fromÂ the Vice President, Dick Cheney, the President has refused to review the plans for the prisons closure.
The President has decided he willÂ leave thatÂ mess to the new resident of the White House.
As of today President Bush has only 70 more days left as the Chief Executive and many assume that he can make changes until his final day in office.
In reality he only has until November 20 to issue â€œeconomically significantâ€ rule changes and only until December 20 to institute other less significant changes. After that every thing remains at a draft stage and can be easily undone or ignored by the new President when he assumes office on January 20.
TimeÂ maybe running out for George Bush to implement hisÂ ideological changesÂ but his aides areÂ sprinting flat out toÂ enshrineÂ as manyÂ changes into the rule booksÂ as possible.