WASHINGTON – It might have been 80 degrees outside but it was snowing inside Ford's Theatre on Sunday, where President Bush attended a taping of an ABC holiday program.
Country singer Wynonna opened the show by performing "Winter Wonderland" on a stage decorated with white lights, Christmas trees and a sleigh. She asked Bush if he had done his Christmas shopping yet.
"Do you know what you're planning on getting your beautiful wife?" Wynonna asked. "Whatever she wants, right?" The president's response was inaudible.
The Ford's Theatre gala usually airs July Fourth, but ABC will televise this event in December in an effort to attract broader viewership.
Other performers included singers Yolanda Adams, Olivia Newton-John and Jon Secada, comedian Christopher Titus and "Dancing with the Stars" dancers Jonathan Roberts and Karina Smirnoff.
First lady Laura Bush was the gala's honorary chair.
Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and civil rights veteran, and Civil War historian James McPherson were awarded Lincoln Medals. The award is given to those who exemplify President Lincoln's legacy and character through their work, accomplishments or personal attributes.
The annual benefit is held at the landmark theater where Lincoln was fatally shot in 1865.
"President Lincoln had a great appreciation for the performing arts," Bush said. "They offered relief amid the agonies of war, and he would likely be pleased that Ford's Theatre continues to bring together talented performers from across our country, including those with us tonight."