Sunday, April 18

Trump not inviting Biden to White House creates second-longest period after election without transition meeting

It has been 22 days and counting since the Nov. 3 election, and President Trump has neither conceded the election to President-elect Joe Biden nor offered to host him at the White House.

Biden on Tuesday said that “of course” he would meet with Trump if invited, since it is a modern custom for the sitting president to invite the president-elect to the White House in the days following an election.

If the two men eventually do meet at the White House, it will mark at least the second-longest delay between the general election and a White House meeting in the last 40 years.

Here is the stretch of time between the election and a White House meeting with the outgoing president and the president-elect since 1980:

2016: Two days

Trump visited President Barack Obama at the White House on Nov. 10, 2016, two days after the Nov. 8 general election.

2008: Six days

President-elect Obama visited President George W. Bush at the White House on Nov. 10, 2008, six days after the Nov. 4 general election.

2000: 42 days

The dispute over the razor-thin Florida margin between Bush and Al Gore, resulting in recounts and lawsuits, meant the winner of the Nov. 7 election was not known for more than a month. The situation was not resolved until Dec. 12, when the Supreme Court ruled against the further counting of Florida votes and when the Florida House of Representatives voted to appoint electors for Bush.

Gore conceded the election to Bush on Dec. 13. President Bill Clinton met with President-elect George W. Bush on Dec. 19 that year, one day after the Electoral College voted to make Bush president.

1992: 15 days

1992 marks the last time an incumbent president was defeated in an election and denied a second term. Republican President George H.W. Bush met with President-elect Clinton, a Democrat, at the White House on Nov. 18, about two weeks after the Nov. 3 election.

In a brief press photo spray, Bush told the press corps that the pair would not take questions. “We didn’t want to get into a full-scale press conference,” Bush said.

The Bush-to-Clinton transition is better remembered, though, by a letter that the outgoing Republican president left to his Democratic successor in the Oval Office on Inauguration Day that later went viral.

“Your success now is our country’s success,” Bush told Clinton in the letter. “I am rooting hard for you.”

Bush had received a similar letter from President Ronald Reagan. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama all wrote similar letters to their successors.

1988: 1 day

The 1988 presidential transition was friendly since Republicans held on to power and because it was President Ronald Reagan’s own vice president who succeeded him. Reagan delivered short remarks at the White House with President-elect George H.W. Bush and Vice President-elect Dan Quayle on Nov. 9, the day after the Nov. 8 election.

“Even as we accept the verdict of the majority, and pledge to protect always the rights of the minority, we’ve put behind us the divisions and controversies of the immediate past and begin anew,” Reagan said.

1980: 16 days

Democratic President Jimmy Carter hosted President-elect Reagan, a Republican, at the White House on Nov. 20, 16 days after that year’s Nov. 4 election.

“We had a very enjoyable and very productive hour or so together,” Carter said.

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