No pool coverage of today's visit by President Obama to Billy Graham, just White House statements about the meeting first arranged when Obama called Graham in November to wish him a happy 91st birthday.
"The president had a private prayer and conversation with Rev. Graham," said White House spokesman Bill Burton. "He is extraordinarily gratified that he took the time to meet with him."
In an e-mail, long-time Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross said their discussion ranged from the loneliness of the presidency to their mutual love of golf and the city of Chicago, reports our colleague Cathy Lynn Grossman on her Faith & Reason blog.
"Mr. Graham presented the President with two (New King James Version) Bibles -- one for him, and other for the First Lady -- after which the President prayed for Mr. Graham, who, in turn, concluded with a prayer for the President, his family and his administration," Ross wrote.
The White House also released a photo of the meeting.
White House spiritual adviser Josh DuBois also attended the session in Graham's mountaintop cabin in Montreat, N.C.
So did Graham's son Franklin, who has been criticized in recent weeks for comments about Muslims. Some background on the Grahams is available on our Faith & Reason blog.
The president had never met Graham in person, Burton told reporters, and is now the 12th White House occupant to have done so -- the first to visit him at his cabin in the western North Carolina mountains.
Obama had hoped to meet with Graham back in 2008, when the then-candidate stayed in Asheville, N.C., to prepare for a debate with John McCain. The president and first lady Michelle just spent a weekend in Asheville.
"Rev. Graham has obviously been an important spiritual leader for past presidents and for the American people for decades," Burton said. "He's a real treasure for our country. The president appreciates the opportunity to visit him at his home."
Burton also reported that Graham looked good: "Sounds like he's got some of the creaks that come with advancing age, but he's still as sharp as he ever was."
source : usatoday