Welcome home: The party awaiting the Bushes in Midland

Washington DC won’t throw the only parties today.  The people of Midland have a Texas-sized celebration of their own planned for the return of George and Laura Bush.  They’ve had the streets closed since Friday and expect a big turnout:

Eight years ago, this West Texas city hosted a send-off as then-President-elect George W. Bush headed for the White House. The community is now poised for a welcome home celebration.

Bush and his wife, Laura, plan to head to Midland on Tuesday afternoon after the inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.

Some city streets have been closed since Friday and almost all of the 20,000 free tickets to the celebration have been handed out.

They’ll have country music for the free party and concert, with Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers and Lee Greenwood on the bill.  Governor Rick Perry will welcome the Bushes back to Texas.  Later, the Bushes will make their way to a new home in a Dallas suburb for some rest after eight years of service.

Will George Bush stay out of national politics after his retirement?  Most former presidents can’t resist the limelight.  Bill Clinton missed it so much that he had his wife run for the presidency, while Jimmy Carter couldn’t keep his nose out of American foreign policy.  George H. W. Bush has limited himself to charitable efforts for the most part, and I’d guess that W will follow his father’s example.  He will likely write a book to tell his side of the story — I can’t think of anyone who has more need to do so — and do a media tour in support of it.  After that, we’ll probably only hear from him for fundraisers and the like.