The 43rd President of the United States and the wife of his successor are an unlikely pair to be close friends, but George W. Bush credited his sense of humor for bringing him and Michelle Obama together.
Bush and Obama have been photographed together several times during formal events. They sat next to each other at Nancy Reagan’s memorial in last year, at a service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting in July and at the 2015 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery, CNN reported.
An embrace between the two during the opening ceremony for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture quickly went viral.
“When I saw her, it was a genuine expression of affection,” Bush told People of that moment.
The pair’s most recent appearance together was during Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, where another image of Bush struggling with a poncho went viral.
“She kind of likes my sense of humor. Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like,” Bush said.
READ: Former President George H.W. Bush and Wife Barbara Bush to Perform Coin Toss at Super Bowl LI
Bush has been making rounds on media appearances to promote his new book, “Portraits of Courage,” a volume of his paintings of military veterans.
Now @TheBushCenter: Portraits of Courage — President George W. Bush's tribute to America's warriors. https://t.co/cF5TmcfRFs
— Texas Standard (@TexasStandard) March 2, 2017
Bush and Obama join another unlikely presidential friendship: the one between his father, 41st U.S. president George H.W. Bush, and his successor, 42nd U.S. president Bill Clinton.
Despite Clinton thwarting incumbent President George H.W. Bush after the bitter 1992 election cycle, the two became friends while raising funds for the 2004 tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean and Hurricane Katrina, that destroyed much of New Orleans in 2005.
Clinton tweeted well wishes to Bush Sr. and Barbara Bush when the couple were both hospitalized in January.
41 and Barbara—thinking about you both and sending wishes for a speedy recovery. Love, 42.
— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) January 18, 2017
As a result of the unlikely friendship, Clinton and the younger Bush have become close as well. In the past, the Bush has called Clinton his “brother from another mother.”
On Thursday, Bush appeared on “The Ellen Show” for the first time, where he and Ellen DeGeneres discussed a plethora of topics, including his admiration for veterans, his collection of portraits and the newest furry addition to the Bush family.
During the interview, Bush revealed that one of his twin daughters, Jenna Bush Hager, and DeGeneres are “good buddies.”
President Bush has developed an amazing talent since his days in the White House. https://t.co/nzGgHuuSFC
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 2, 2017
“So, my attitude is: if you’re a good buddy of to Jenna, you’re a good buddy of mine,” Bush said, his Texas southern drawl more apparent than ever.
“She’s a lovely girl – your whole family,” DeGeneres replied. “…I love your whole family.”
Bush told DeGeneres that he’s the only American president whose parents were both alive after the presidency and is one of two presidents whose parents were alive during his presidency.
President George W. Bush was here for the first time. I was particularly interested in what he had to say. https://t.co/KaaLj9xLot
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 2, 2017
Of the current political climate, Bush said this isn’t the “first time” the country has been divided, adding that when he graduated college the U.S. was in the middle of the Vietnam War.
“The [current] president was nearly impeached, and a lot of people thought the country was going down the tube,” he said.
Bush said he’s mostly out of politics because he doesn’t think it serves the country well to have a former president criticize a current commander-in-chief.
“I’m happy to be off the stage — except this one” he quipped.
Purple Heart recipient shares his story with George W. Bush https://t.co/APeqIycELs via @FoxNews #Hannity #PortraitsofCourage #KnowOurVets
— TheBushCenter (@TheBushCenter) March 2, 2017
Bush also made appearances on Fox News, where a recipient of the Purple Heart shared his story, and on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Jimmy has a LOT of questions for our 43rd President George W. Bush TONIGHT on #Kimmel! #PortraitsOfCourage pic.twitter.com/OWhUlTGc2k
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) March 3, 2017
ICYMI: Watch President Bush's interview on @JimmyKimmelLive about #PortraitsofCourage https://t.co/altxzlfCbD #KnowOurVets
— TheBushCenter (@TheBushCenter) March 3, 2017
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