WASHINGTON – The father-and-son presidents met in the Oval Office early Wednesday morning, still not knowing the Election Day fate of the son.

“It wasn’t clear,” President Bush recalled of his visit with his father, the former president, who was heading back home to Houston.

“So, I never got to see him face to face to watch his, I guess, pride in his tired eyes as his son got a second term.”

A dozen years ago, his father was denied his own second term by Bill Clinton. And it’s still very much a sore point with the president, who termed it “a disappointment” during a news conference Thursday.

“But he taught me a really good lesson – that life moves on,” Bush said of his father. “And it’s very important for those of us in the political arena, win or lose, to recognize … that life is bigger than just politics.”

The president said his father had stayed up with him upstairs in the family quarters of the White House until about 3:30 a.m. election night. Finally, he said, he told his father to go to bed and stop by the Oval Office later that morning before leaving. And he did, but before Sen. John Kerry called to concede.

“We had a good talk,” Bush said, adding that he has since visited with his father and found him relieved.

“I told him to take a nap,” the president said. “I was worried about him staying up too late.”

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