WASHINGTON – When President Bush turned 60 last year, the milestone garnered interest around the globe. On Friday, he turned a year older, but to much less notice.
Bush celebrated his 61st birthday a bit early -- with dinner and a party that first lady Laura Bush threw for him Wednesday evening at the White House, where he watched the Fourth of July fireworks over the National Mall.
On Thursday night, the president took in his favorite pastime, venturing across town to see the Washington Nationals play the Chicago Cubs. With no fanfare, the former part-owner of the Texas Rangers entered RFK Stadium at the bottom of the first inning, sat in a team box with team executives and an owner, and left after the seventh-inning stretch. The Cubs won 4-2.
Spokesman Scott Stanzel said Bush "had a wonderful evening" on Wednesday. His parents, former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, were there -- after the president just spent a long weekend with them at their summer home on the Maine coast.
Bush's 25-year-old twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, also came to the White House to celebrate their father's birthday. Barbara had joined her dad and grandparents in Kennebunkport, Maine, over the weekend.
Stanzel said that "a number of good friends" came as well. Guests included several professional golfers, including Phil Mickelson, Fred Funk, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Brad Faxon, Paul Azinger and Jeff Maggert, and their spouses, said Emily Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman.
The big-name field of golfers are in the area for the inaugural AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in suburban Washington. The PGA event is commonly known as Tiger's Tournament because it was created by Tiger Woods and benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation.
At the White House party, Funk gave Bush a TaylorMade golf bag with the presidential seal embroidered into it and his name on the bag, Lawrimore said.
Bush was scheduled to leave Friday for the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland. Last year, friends joined the first couple for the birthday weekend.