Give him credit. For once, he almost got through a day without using Dubya as a campaign prop.


At the unveiling of former President George W. Bush’s official portrait at the White House this afternoon, President Barack Obama joined his predecessor and their wives in delivering brief (and at times nice, cordial, and funny) remarks. But there was a seemingly out of place moment during the ceremony when Obama seemed to veer into reiterating his frequent trope that he inherited a bad economy from Bush.

“The months before I took the oath of office were a chaotic time,” Obama said, after explaining that the president’s job is isolating, and that he and Bush have a connection since so few have held the job. “We knew our economy was in trouble, our fellow Americans were in pain, but we wouldn’t know until later just how breathtaking the financial crisis had been.”

Follow the last link for video of that. In fairness to O, he was gracious to Bush otherwise, taking special care to salute him for understanding in 2008 “that rescuing our economy was not just a Democratic or Republican issue; it was an American priority.” Translation: Don’t forget that the GOP voted for TARP too. Duly noted.

As you’re about to see, Dubya — and Laura — stole the show. Three minutes of laugh lines from CNN. Exit quotation from AmSpec’s Jim Antle: “Wonder if Bush briefed Obama on how to get conservatives to support big government.”