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Athletes, dignitaries among Bush guests

/ Source: The Associated Press

Former President George W. Bush's overnight guests shortly before he left office included Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who spent the night at the Camp David presidential retreat just weeks before President Barack Obama asked him to serve in his Cabinet, guest lists released Monday show.

Gregg and his wife Kathy stayed at Camp David in January. The New Hampshire senator initially accepted Obama's nomination as commerce secretary, but then withdrew a few weeks later.

Details of the visit were not immediately available from Bush's office or Gregg's.

The Greggs slept over at Camp David at least twice during Bush's tenure. Judd Gregg and Bush are longtime friends; Gregg played the role of Democrat Al Gore as Bush prepared to debate Gore in 2000, and portrayed Democratic nominee John Kerry during Bush's 2004 debate rehearsals.

The overnight guest lists released Monday cover Bush's second term. They were provided at the request of The Associated Press.

A fundraising scandal during President Bill Clinton's tenure in which Democratic donors were invited to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom led Bush to identify his guests. An Obama spokesman has said Obama also will provide lists of his White House and Camp David overnight guests, but has not yet decided on the timing.

As in Bush's first term, his second-term roster is dominated by family, friends and Cabinet members. The most famous names include pro golfer Ben Crenshaw, who spent the night at the White House and Camp David, and Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill, who stayed at the White House. Just over two-dozen foreign dignitaries visited Camp David during Bush's second term.

Besides the Greggs, Bush guests at Camp David during his final days in office in January included Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, national security adviser Stephen Hadley and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten.

The last White House sleepover guests included Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush; uncle William H.T. "Bucky" Bush and his wife, Patty; brother Neil Bush and his wife, Maria; several longtime friends, including Bush fundraiser Brad Freeman, former Commerce Secretary Don Evans and his wife, Susie, and the Rev. Kirbyjon and Suzette Caldwell.