Obama to host W for portrait ceremony

posted at 1:31 pm on May 19, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Somebody should make sure that the White House staff gets the place all spruced up and sets out the good china for dinner, because the Obamas are expecting company. And who is the very special guest? None other than the president’s predecessor.

George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are expected to return to the White House later this month to be honored by President Barack Obama with the unveiling of their official portraits that will hang at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The White House confirmed on Friday that the Bushes are slated to revisit their Washington home of eight years on May 31 for a rare joint appearance between the current and past president.

Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said, “The Bushes are looking forward to being back in Washington and seeing some of their friends. They appreciate the Obamas’ hospitality in hosting the portrait hanging.”

Well, it’s not as if Obama had much of a choice here, and you would expect both men to be gracious and professional about it. This is something of a rare event for W, who doesn’t do much in public these days with the exception of charity events. And that’s kind of refreshing, to be honest. It’s something of a return to what used to be traditional among former occupants of the West Wing, including Reagan and Bush’s father. Once out of office, they tended to stay out of the way and not get too critical of those who came after them or try to keep influencing policy. Clinton was definitely an exception to that rule, but Bush 43 seems content to live his life and leave Washington to run itself.

Of course, as The Hill notes, there may still be something of an awkward moment or two in store.

But despite his self-imposed exile, Bush has made headlines in recent days. The former president offered an endorsement of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney earlier this week after speaking at a human-rights forum in Washington on Monday.

“I’m for Mitt Romney,” the former president said as the doors of the elevator he was riding closed, according to ABC News.

That part shouldn’t come as much of a surprise either, really. It’s not as if W has been out on the campaign trail stumping for Romney or anyone else. A reporter caught him getting on the elevator and asked who he would be supporting. The guy’s still a Republican… what was he supposed to say?

I don’t expect Bush to try to politicize the portrait ceremony or give any red meat interviews while he’s in town. He’ll probably go through with the ceremony, thank everyone and then head back home. The only real question is, will Obama be able to restrain himself and respond in kind? After all, he’s still blaming his soon to be guest for the economy right up to the present day.


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Clinton was definitely an exception to that rule, but Bush 43 seems content to live his life and leave Washington to run itself.

Clinton was and is a media whore. The way he showed up at ground zero in NYC in the aftermath of the 9/11/01 atrocities the same day as GWB and claiming the military was ready because of his administration was unseemly. Especially when we found out that he could have been the the one to “get” OBL but didn’t.

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Obviously the towers would be off the list. But the mountain scene if done properly could have been more effective in conveying what was the key occurrence during his tenure.

Bmore on May 20, 2012 at 6:17 PM

My thoughts exactly. But it isn’t bad as Jennifer Granholm’s official portrait as Michigan’s governor. Link She looks like a dude and has a mini-wind farm and mini-Chevy Volt painted in.

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I don’t dig this portrait. Not a great look for W. plus the background seems out of place. I would have preferred a landscape behind him that reflected his time in office. The mountains of Afghanistan for example. Obviously the towers would be off the list. But the mountain scene if done properly could have been more effective in conveying what was the key occurrence during his tenure.

Bmore on May 20, 2012 at 6:17 PM

This is not the official portrait. This was a gift to Bush in 2002 (commemorating the G8 Summit?), and I believe it resides in the presidential library. The real portrait will not be seen until officially unveiled.

stvnscott on May 20, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Key West Reader on May 20, 2012 at 6:18 PM

So basically you admit you were a pig being fattened for the slaughter. You’re bragging about this, in public?

sartana on May 20, 2012 at 8:59 PM

This is not the official portrait. This was a gift to Bush in 2002 (commemorating the G8 Summit?), and I believe it resides in the presidential library. The real portrait will not be seen until officially unveiled.

stvnscott on May 20, 2012 at 8:20 PM

The official portrait I assume will be in the genre of all official portraits. I intended my comment to only pertain to this portrait. ; )

Bmore on May 20, 2012 at 9:39 PM

there is a painting of Bush in the White House? it must be Bush’s fault.

deimos on May 20, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Pretty foolish comeback.

GW had control of the ENTIRE Congress in 2003. He made a half-baked attempt to “whine” about Freddie and Fannie – and a few republicans joined in – but not many of the Ayatollahs of the establishment did.

Next!

HondaV65 on May 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I’m in the industry, and your entire post above is an Unusually Good Lie.

F-

Del Dolemonte on May 20, 2012 at 10:51 PM

The official portrait I assume will be in the genre of all official portraits. I intended my comment to only pertain to this portrait. ; )

Bmore on May 20, 2012 at 9:39 PM

OK. Still, if you research the history and context of this portrait, you will find that it is modeled after a photograph featuring W in front of Rushmore along with other G8 leaders IIRC. It was not invented out of thin air.

stvnscott on May 20, 2012 at 11:14 PM

OK. Still, if you research the history and context of this portrait, you will find that it is modeled after a photograph featuring W in front of Rushmore along with other G8 leaders IIRC. It was not invented out of thin air.

stvnscott on May 20, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Actually, the reverse, according to this. The photograph followed the painting, not vice versa, especially since the G8 summit was in Canada that year, not in the US.

JenWestin on May 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM

I smell an Obamaturism coming.

AshleyTKing on May 21, 2012 at 1:09 AM

JenWestin on May 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM

; ) Will you be my friend? I’m always at QOTD, bring a tune. ; )

Bmore on May 21, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Why not “The Alamo?”…

Hoping the photo with Mount Rushmore ISN’T the official portrait…

Khun Joe on May 21, 2012 at 2:59 AM

Pres. Bush was not a RINO. He just not have been a Republican in the form YOU think a Republican should be. I am not as HUGE a Reagan fan as some of you because I know someone who is still hurting from one of Reagan’s policies which was really a very bad move . . . but I would never call him a RINO. He, like Pres. Bush, did what he felt was the best for the country at that time.

Voter from WA State on May 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I consider his RINOism from the viewpoint ALONE on immigration.
So in YOUR opinion, he may not be bcs evidently you agree illegals should be given amnesty.
But I certainly do not think that is a conservative stance.
Reagan had flaws, too. And on some things, he was RINO-ish.
Take what he did with farm programs.
He expanded those programs. Now the farmers are COMPLETELY indebted to the Federal Govt.
They are truly govt wh0res. And I know bcs I live in farm/ranch country.
I still believe, as you do, that Bush did what he felt was right.
But giving amnesty to illegals is WRONG.

Badger40 on May 21, 2012 at 7:20 AM

“Miss Me Yet” painted on Mt. Rushmore?

NEEDING to reference prior Presidents of the United States of America in order to “explain” through illustration one’s own significance is as pathetic as it gets.

PROGRAM propaganda, not a great portrait.

And no doubt, Obama will have his portrait painted in kind, with his own chosen predecessors painted in the clouds behind his halo.

Dumb and Dumber.

We are not all dumbest, requiring cartoon book “educational guides”.

maverick muse on May 21, 2012 at 7:44 AM

Actually, the reverse, according to this. The photograph followed the painting, not vice versa, especially since the G8 summit was in Canada that year, not in the US.

JenWestin on May 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM

In that case, I guess I did not recall correctly :) Still not too ashamed of myself though, considering I haven’t thought about that painting in 10 years.

stvnscott on May 21, 2012 at 8:08 AM

“Miss Me Yet” painted on Mt. Rushmore?

NEEDING to reference prior Presidents of the United States of America in order to “explain” through illustration one’s own significance is as pathetic as it gets.

PROGRAM propaganda, not a great portrait.

And no doubt, Obama will have his portrait painted in kind, with his own chosen predecessors painted in the clouds behind his halo.

Dumb and Dumber.

We are not all dumbest, requiring cartoon book “educational guides”.

maverick muse on May 21, 2012 at 7:44 AM

That is not the official portrait. That portrait is ten years old. The official portrait has not yet been unveiled.

JenWestin on May 21, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Who thinks the Obowma’s will include themselves in the portraits of GW and Laura Bush?

dthorny on May 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM

President Bush offered a gracious tribute to President Clinton AND Hillary at Clinton’s portrait unveiling in 2007. We’ll have to wait to see if Barry is capable of the tact necessary in these kinds of presidential situations. However as others here predict, it could become an Obamateurism ripe for the picking, full of “I’s” “me’s” “my’s” “Michelle and I” “I inherited” etc.

Bush’s Glowing Portrait Of Clinton

President Bush offered a flattering tribute to former President Clinton on Monday as the White House unveiled the official portraits of the 42nd president and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Mr. Bush rode into office on a promise “to restore honor and dignity” to the White House after eight years of Mr. Clinton, and he was bitter at his predecessor defeating his father in the 1992 presidential contest. But on Monday, Mr. Bush delivered a lengthy, forceful defense of his predecessor, and welcomed dozens of Clinton administration officials back into the White House.

“As a candidate for any office, whether it be the state attorney general or the president, Bill Clinton showed incredible energy and great personal appeal,” Mr. Bush said. “As chief executive, he showed a deep and far-ranging knowledge of public policy, a great compassion for people in need, and the forward-looking spirit that Americans like in a president.”

Mr. Bush left Mr. Clinton laughing so hard that his face turned red with a jibe about Mr. Clinton’s service in Texas to George McGovern’s failed 1972 presidential campaign.
Mostly, though, Mr. Bush gave an almost nostalgic tribute to the Democratic former president.

“Bill Clinton could always see a better day ahead and Americans knew he was working hard to bring that day closer,” Mr. Bush said. “Over eight years it was clear that Bill Clinton loved the job of the presidency. He filled this house with energy and joy. He’s a man of enthusiasm and warmth, who could make a compelling case and effectively advance the causes that drew him to public service.”

Brat on May 21, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Perhaps the idiot President can teach the genius President how to average 5% unemployment…

Wagthatdog on May 21, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Obama will do his best to dishonor Bush. How could he do otherwise?

zoyclem on May 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I’m sad for George and Laura, (that’s what I call them, “George and Laura”) that they have to spend any time with the grifters who are currently occupying the White House. Too bad they couldn’t hold off for President and Mrs. Romney.

BettyRuth on May 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Bush could have waited until 2013. This is his decision as to when he wants a ceremony, whether the portraits are ready to be hung or not.

Bush should have waited. That said, Obama will be forced to say nice things about 43, which should anger his base.

matthew8787 on May 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Yet another thing Obama inherited from Bush…

James on May 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM

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