Friday, June 01, 2012

George W. Bush's White House portrait

Hey, that's a picture of me. Well, whadaya know?

Oh, what the hell. Let's be nice. Yes, Barack Obama has been saying for some time that electing Mitt Romney as president would be to return to the failed policies of George W. Bush. But today he had George over to the house for a little party and the unveiling of W.'s portrait. No snarky talk at all.

Sometimes partisanship takes a holiday, and yesterday was one of those days.

Obama played it pretty safe, though, in saluting Bush for his role in pulling the country together after 9/11. As The New York Times reported:

Hailing Mr. Bush as a steadfast leader after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Mr. Obama said Americans would never forget the image of Mr. Bush standing atop a pile of rubble at the World Trade Center, bullhorn in hand.

And then Barack thanked George for leaving him a really good TV sports package. George thanked Barack for "inviting our rowdy friends to my hanging."

The interesting thing about it, though, was that it's almost like Bush isn't quite a part of the electoral scene at all any more. Again, the Times:

[R]elatively few members of Mr. Bush's inner circle are working on the campaign of Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. Mr. Bush himself has been in a self-imposed political exile, absent from the Republican campaign trail. A couple of weeks ago, he did offer a fleeting endorsement of Mr. Romney — "I'm for Mitt Romney," he said to ABC News — as the doors of his elevator closed after giving a speech on human rights in Washington.

There's George, seemingly enjoying his retirement and no longer a threat to anyone, pretty well invisible. Anyway, ceremony is important, and even this dog gets his day.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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