Enthusiastic crowd gathers to welcome Bush back

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) - "It is good to be home."

That's what former President George W. Bush today told thousands
of people gathered in Midland to welcome him back to Texas.

Bush also described the presidency as a "joyous experience," but he says nothing compares with Texas at sunset.

Some of the 25,000 people on hand, during the late-in-the-day ceremony at Centennial Plaza, waved signs.

Bush, who grew up in Midland, ended his two-term presidency as Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation's 44th president.

Bush says he went to Washington with a clear set of principles, and left with them intact.

He said, quote: "I never took an opinion poll to tell me what to think, and I'm coming home with my head held high and a sense of accomplishment."

Bush and his wife, Laura, are returning to their Crawford ranch. They've also purchased a house in Dallas.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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