Perino Found Sen. Obama 'Charming,' Predicted He'd be President -- in 2025
Dana Perino, former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five on Fox News, credited Bush for restoring her relationship with her father.
Perino’s parents divorced when she was 28 years old.
“Even though I was an adult, I really had felt abandoned. It sounds weird but it is how it felt, and the president is there so I am telling him everything,” she said at the American Enterprise Institute during a discussion about her new book, And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side. “The president knew I hadn’t been in touch with my dad for a while.”
Toward the end of the Bush administration, Perino said her father had not yet come to the White House to see her conduct a briefing in person.
“I wouldn’t call it estranged but it was uncomfortable. President Bush knew all of this,” she recalled.
Perino decided to invite her father to a dinner with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the White House.
“[Justice] Scalia is there and I think it was very overwhelming for my dad. I grew up on a cattle ranch and now he’s here with his daughter at the White House,” she said. “We go through the photo line and just as the military aide was going to announce us, the president says, ‘Oh no, they need no introduction. This is Leo Perino.’ He takes my dad off my hands and says, ‘You want to meet Condi Rice? You want to meet Cheney?’ He goes all around and I say the president gave me back my relationship with my dad.”
In 2005, Perino said she was seated next to then-Sen. Barack Obama during her first Gridiron dinner in Washington.
“He had just been in town for about 2 weeks. He was a new senator and he and I laughed our butts off for four hours. We had so much fun,” she told McCurry.
Perino recalled telling her husband she thought Obama could be president in 20 years.