BUSH DECLINES OBAMA’S INVITATION…. President Obama will travel to Lower Manhattan, visiting Ground Zero and meeting with families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. Some on the right, including Fox News personalities, have argued that the president should bring George W. Bush along as a “nice gesture.”

As it turns out, Obama extended an invitation to his predecessor. Bush declined.

President Obama invited former President George W. Bush to join him at ground zero in New York City on Thursday to mark the killing of Osama bin Laden, but Mr. Bush declined, a spokesman for the former president confirmed on Tuesday.

“President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday,” said his spokesman, David Sherzer. “He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight. He continues to celebrate with Americans this important victory in the war on terror.”

What’s wrong with that? Nothing at all. Aside from some book promotion, Bush has kept a fairly low profile since leaving office, and if he’d prefer not to join Obama on Thursday, that’s certainly his prerogative. There’s no need to assume this is some sort of partisan snub, and he’s under no obligation to accept the president’s offer.

But given that Obama was gracious enough to extend the invitation in the first place, maybe the political establishment can get past the whole “Obama’s a big meanie towards Bush” theme?

Also note, the president has also reportedly extended an invitation to former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) for tomorrow’s gathering, but it’s not yet clear if he’ll attend.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.