President Barack Obama is sharing a stage with former President George W. Bush, the predecessor he often inveighs against, in a friendly White House welcome for the unveiling of the 43rd president’s official portrait.
FILE – In this Nov. 10, 2008 file photo, President and Mrs. Bush greet President-elect Obama and Michelle Obama at the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama frequently blames President George W. Bush for America’s shaky economy, high unemployment and foreign policy woes. But he’s sure to change his tune on Thursday when Bush comes back to the White House in a rare limelight moment, The man who led the country for eight tumultuous years will have his portrait hung and Obama will be there applauding. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Obama told Bush and an assembly of former Bush aides and cabinet members: “We may have our differences politically, but the presidency transcends those differences.”
It was a rare public appearance for the former president, who was joined by his wife, Laura, and other family members, including his father, former president George H.W. Bush, and his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush.
George W. Bush jokingly noted that the first presidential portrait is of George Washington, a symmetry he said that was worth noting: “It now starts and ends with a George W.”
Source: The AP | BEN FELLER and JULIE PACE