A picture taken at the dedication for the National Museum of African-American History and Culture that depicts First Lady Michelle Obama and former President George Bush hugging each other has gone viral. Users of Reddit have been uploading various photo shopped images of the pair, while social media has been buzzing with comments.
— Larry King (@kingsthings) September 26, 2016
When your out-of-town cousins come to visit https://t.co/Zmh65u2cmL
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 26, 2016
That George Bush/Michelle Obama hug? A. Freaking. Dorable.
— Meghan Granito (@meggranito) September 24, 2016
The show of affection is hardly new. The bond between them has grown since 2009, when at the Presidential Inauguration Bush took time to talk to Mrs. Obama and her two daughters, Sasha and Malia. Since then, Bush has refrained from criticizing President Obama’s policies, even going so far as to lend his support to different events important to the President, like the anniversary of the Civil Rights march in Selma, Alabama. There, pictures depict the former President and the First Lady whispering and laughing together
While not as openly affectionate, Laura Bush and Mrs. Obama also share an affinity for each other. Before the inauguration in 2009, Mrs. Bush invited Mrs. Obama and her daughters to tour the White House. There, Mrs. Bush’s daughters, Barbara and Jenna, showed the Obama girls around their new home, even revealing the best places to hide in.
In 2013, the two bonded further at a conference in Tanzania to promote education for women and girls. He interaction prompted Mrs. Obama to say, “I like this woman,” adding that,
“it’s hard to find people who know what you’re going through, who understand the burdens and the fears and the challenges.”
Since then, the two women have made many appearances together in public, including one recently at a conference at the National Archives to encourage support for families of service members.
President Obama and Former President Bush have also been chummy in the past. After the ceremony on Saturday, Bush became tried to take a selfie with a family but could not fit them all in the frame, prompting Obama to come in to the rescue. During his speech, Obama took a crack at the Former President, who is known for growing restless.
“Enough talk,” Mr. Obama said. “President Bush was timing me. He had the over/under at 25 [minutes].” he joked.
Aside from all of the comments and cute photo ops, the Obama’s and the Bush’s are a breath of fresh air from cut-throat politics that make it seem as if ideology is a barrier that cannot be crossed. With the first Presidential Debate on Monday night, political polarization feels like it’s at its highest. Simply because political tensions are high, it does not mean that Americans have to start disliking each other. Politics and dissenting opinions are fine as long as at the end of the day all parties can put aside their differences and get along. If two high profile couples from very different ideologies can do it, ten the rest of us have no excuse.