Bush and Obama and a portrait of class

BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO

When I think about five more months of the partisan attacks both presidential candidates will launch and the millions they’ll spend doing it, it’s harder to respect our political system.

But there was an unusual moment yesterday that gave me some assurance. President Obama hosted George W. Bush and his family at the White House for an unveiling of the former president’s official portrait. Watching the ceremony and seeing how the two presidents interacted with wit and humor was unexpected treat.

Bush joked about how Dolley Madison once rescued the portraits when a fire broke out. Turning to Mrs. Obama while pointing to his portrait, he said, “Just in case it happens again, I’m your guy.”

And he teased the president, telling him that now, whenever he is confronted with a difficult decision, he can look at the portrait and ponder, “What would George do?”

Both presidents seemed relaxed. Despite their opposing political views, they still share a lot in common. That’s something that gets overshadowed in the daily rounds of rhetoric and fiery criticisms.

And for a brief moment, it sent a powerful message: we share a lot in common, too.

One comment

  1. “Bush joked about how Dolley Madison once rescued the portraits when a fire broke out. Turning to Mrs. Obama while pointing to his portrait, he said, “Just in case it happens again, I’m your guy.” ”

    Actually Dolly saved only one portrait, the Gilbert Stuart painting of the only President named George who wasn’t a national embarrassment.

    As to Dubya worrying about the White House being burned a second time by one of America’s enemies he can rest easy. Since he’s no longer in the Oval Office annoying and antagonizing the rest of the planet the number of potential arsonists has gone way down.

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