At first blush, this might seem as a bit ungracious of Bush. Or it might be another sign of his resolve to stay out of the public eye, after serving his terms of office.
Or there could be something else at play here.
As I've noted several times, President Obama has a tendency to be... well, a classless asshole. And one of his trademark moves is to invite others to events (or take advantage of their presence to insult and deride them in a forum where they not only can not respond, but can't even react appropriately without being criticized.
He did it to the Supreme Court at his State of the Union address.
He did it to Paul Ryan at a public event.
He did it to Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
And considering his history of "blaming Bush" for pretty much everything, how confident would anyone be that Obama wouldn't take the opportunity to take a few more swipes -- even veiled ones -- at Bush, even -- or especially with -- Bush sitting right there? And how confident would any of us be in saying that Obama will not be using it as a campaign event?
It's also relevant, I think, to note that this is President Obama's first trip to Ground Zero since taking office. On the last two anniversaries of the attack, he sent a representative. Now, however, he's going there in person.
At this point, any political opponent of President Obama's would be a fool to accept any invitations from Obama to any public event -- at least, without some assurances in advance. I suggested a while ago that they extract a pledge that there would be no attacks, or the guest would stand up and walk out, then show how Obama had broken his promise.
One final question: which do you think will be more common at Obama's speech at Ground Zero: SEIU purple T-shirts, or T-shirts custom-made for the event by the Obama campaign?