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43rd president to celebrate Easter with 41st

From Major Garrett
CNN White House Correspondent

CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) -- President Bush will spend Easter weekend with his father, former President George Herbert Walker Bush, and his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush.

The elder Bushes are due to arrive Friday at the Bushes' Prairie Chapel ranch, said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

The president spent Thursday with former Texas Secretary of State Elton Bomer, traveling with him to a Dallas fund-raiser for Senate candidate John Cronyn, who is trying to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Phil Gramm.

The first families will attend Easter services before the president and first lady Laura Bush return to Washington, Johndroe said.

The president received his daily national security briefing at his ranch Thursday via secure video-teleconference hookup from national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and CIA Director George Tenet.

Bush plans to spend the rest of his day and the remainder of his Easter vacation relaxing and working on "outdoor projects," Johndroe said. Bush's habit at the ranch is to choose one labor-intensive chore each day and then invite any willing White House staff and Secret Service agents to join him.

In the past, such chores have consisted of clearing water-hungry cedar trees and clearing brush and weeds from various trails on the president's 1,600-acre ranch, said Johndroe.

The Bush White House has put a premium this weekend on giving senior staff some time off. The Western White House will be lightly staffed with only two top aides present -- deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin and national security council executive secretary Steve Beigun. Both will stay on the Bush ranch in separate living quarters, Johndroe said.




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