Michelle Obama: George W. Bush is ‘a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man’


Police memorial in Dallas

I feel like we sometimes oversell Michelle Obama and George W. Bush’s friendship. They really aren’t hanging out together on the Texas ranch, nor are they going off on couple vacations together. They’re affectionate work friends, the way I see it. They see each other at big events, like museum openings and memorials, and since they get along, they tend to be seated next to each other. Sometimes they hug, sometimes he makes sure to pass her some candy at a memorial. I tend to think we cling to Michelle and Dubya’s friendship because they seem like an anchor of grace and cross-party friendship in a hurricane of fascist shenanigans. Michelle seems to think the same – she’s not here to polish Dubya’s legacy, but she does call him “a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man.” Oh, MO. You’re way too kind.

Since Michelle Obama shared a sweet public embrace with George W. Bush in 2016, the world has been intrigued by their friendship — considering their differing political identities. The former first lady opened up about her bond with the former president, 72, and their differences in opinions during an interview with his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager.

“So you know … I got a text from my dad this morning that said, ‘Send Michelle my love,’ ” Jenna, 36, said during the sit-down that will air on NBC News’ TODAY on Wednesday morning. “I was like, ‘Don’t you call her Mrs. Obama?’ He’s like, ‘No, I call her Michelle.’ He said, ‘Send her my love.’ And I thought, you know, it’s so interesting how people are so interested in y’all’s friendship. I mean that hug was, like, the hug that went around the world. I do love that picture.”

“That’s your dad,” Obama, 54, responded.

“Why do you think people are so hungry for that, though?” Jenna asked the Becoming author.

“Because I think the political discourse, the way it’s shown in the media, is — it’s all the nasty parts of it. You know? Because I guess we’ve become a culture where nasty sells. So people are just gonna keep feeding that,” the mother of two explained. “But the truth is much more complicated and complex than that. And I’d love if we as a country could get back to the place where we didn’t demonize people who disagreed with us. Because that’s essentially the difference between Republicans and Democrats.We’re all Americans. We all care about our family our kids, and we’re trying to get ahead… We have different ideas about what’s the best way to get there.”

However, she clarified, “that doesn’t make me evil. And that doesn’t make him, you know, stupid. It’s just a disagreement and that’s how I feel about your father. You know? He’s a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man. And I don’t know that I agree with him on everything.”

[From People]

I’m trying not to go Full Curmudgeon here, because I’ll admit it, I have been moved (temporarily) by Dubya and Michelle’s friendship at times. She’s not looking at him as a man who lied America into a war and got thousands of people killed because of those lies. She’s looking at him as a rumpled old Republican who is trying to burnish his legacy a bit. Plus, he passes her candy and likes to flirt with her. I tend to believe Michelle has always had to fend off attention from guys like Dubya, and she’s learned how to do it with grace.

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Getty.

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118 Responses to “Michelle Obama: George W. Bush is ‘a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man’”

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  1. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    She’s being the EXAMPLE. I love her even more.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    I love Lady O. She’s one of my heroes, but George Bush is trash and I cannot ever accept him. He helped destroy this country along with Death Cheney. To hell with W.

    • Eliza says:

      He may be a nice person to be friends with, but his actions and ideology descended our country into needless debt, chaos and pain. I don’t know why she’s helping white wash his reputation.

      • lucy2 says:

        I can’t get past what he and his administration have done either, but her relationship with him is vastly different than ours. I don’t think she forgets for a second what he’s done, but she has to deal with him on a personal level at a lot of events and things, and she’s too gracious and classy to be anything but friendly. And she’s being interviewed by his daughter.

        The Bushes by all accounts were kind and helpful to the Obamas during the 2008 transition, and the Obamas are too classy to refuse that. Plus I think there’s been some “OMG, Trump is the worst” bonding since 2016.

      • Mumbles says:

        Agreed. He started a war because he was mad that a guy once tried to kill his daddy. Countless people were injured and killed. The region is unstable and will be for decades. His incompetent government let his own nation’s people suffer and die after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

        Kanye West was right about him.

        I’m not saying she shouldn’t be polite to him, but maybe lay off draping her arms around him or effusively praising him to the media.

      • Megan says:

        Millions are dead because Bush wanted revenge for a failed assassination attempt on his father. if Michelle wants to set an example, hug Bob Dole.

    • Amy says:

      He also actively worked to obtain votes for Kavanaugh. I admit, I was getting sucked in by this “new and improved” Dubya but after seeing that, nope.

      • Natalie S says:

        Yup. He advocated to put a rapist and a petty, immature partisan with anger issues on the Supreme Court.

        George W. Bush has spent his life failing upwards. He used race-baiting tactics against John McCain in the primaries. He gave George Tenet the Medal of Freedom. He used anti-gay bigotry as a way to get his supporters to vote. Communities were taking up collections to buy body armor for soldiers because of how badly the wars were handled. It just goes on and on.

        A lot of people are kind, sweet and funny when it makes them happy to be that way. Those same people also behave terribly when it makes them happy to be that way too. They just do whatever makes them happy and meets their needs. I want more from a person than hoping I’m in the approved group that won’t be hurt by this person’s actions.

      • hoopjumper says:

        That was disappointing for me, too. I wanted to believe he had matured, but no.

        Per Wikipedia: There were over 151,000 violent deaths due to the war in Iraq by June 2006 according to credible estimates. By June 2011, there were 461,000 deaths, the majority (60%) of them violent.

        Per me: This is likely in many ways in underestimate because the invasion destabilized Iraq and lead to ISIS.

        I have a complicated relationship with W because as an HIV nurse I cannot forget PEPFAR as a hugely important thing that saved (and is saving) millions of lives. However, I think most Presidents (Clinton, the HW, Obama) would have done the same if they had been in office at the same moment, while W is the only one who would have invaded Iraq.

    • niamh darlington says:

      He’s like 21st century Caligula. the man is an old fool who needs to stand trial for war crimes along with Tony Blair.

    • Tessy says:

      Just goes to show that it’s a big club and we ain’t in it. The Obamas joined it as soon as he got elected, or sooner. Just because they seem more gentile than some of the others, they get a pass. Obama killed plenty of men women and children with his droning, he’s no good guy either and Michelle hanging all over the chimp doesn’t help her image either.

  3. Gigi La Moore says:

    I have had to rethink my opinion about W., especially since Trump. No, I don’t agree with him about everything and he authorized some things that were damaging and we are feeling the effects to this day. However, I have never questioned the man’s humanity, so I can see why Michelle likes him. It is crazy that Kanye could be so bold to call W. out yet be onboard with Trump. Sigh…what crazy times.

  4. whatWHAT? says:

    I love MO, she’ll always be my favorite FLOTUS, but…

    …NO. The man is a war criminal. END OF.

  5. Lala11_7 says:

    Michelle Obama was born in raised in my neighborhood of Chicago…a neighborhood that bore and STILL bears the HORRIFIC ECONOMIC/RACIAL BRUNT…of the inhumane Republican policies on which Bush built his legacy and political narrative…a narrative that Bush is STILL pushing by using his political cache (i.e., Kavanaugh and Kirstjen Nielsen…COUNTLESS OTHERS WHO ARE ABSOLUTELY AWFUL TO DEMOCRACY)

    Michelle is speaking as a rich, entitled person…whose life isn’t affected anymore regarding the policies that are still…literally KILLING folks where she is from…I don’t have time for her grace…when folks are in hell because of the man she think is a cute elf…

    So…I no longer have time for Michelle….

    • Esmom says:

      Oh man, Lala, it is horrific what has happened to your neighborhood and countless others. Heartbreaking and seemingly hopeless. I was listening to one of the many (many!) people running for mayor of Chicago last night and he spoke of how the south and west sides get continually marginalized and I kept thinking that he is what we need…but I’m not sure he has a chance.

    • Chingona says:

      Thank you!! This Man is responsible for thousands of deaths and put in place policies that are still hurting millions of Americans and others around the world. Now there are some who are trying to whitewash him and pretend like he is just a harmless old grandpa.

    • Solace says:

      La la, I love some of your comments. Absolutely agree on this one. A lovable exterior shouldn’t be used to downplay a dangerous administration under whom some of the worst offenders (Kirstjen, Kavanugh) of today have served. Bush might be too dumb or naive, but my god! Let’s not rebrand him at the very least. Michelle is wrong here…her strategy of taking the high road with anyone deplorable leaning is unrealistic.

    • Dani says:

      Very well said! I agree 100%. By being so friendly and so kind to him she’s not just being gracious, but in a way accepting what he’s done and turning a blind eye, because like you said, she has a privileged life now.

  6. Darla says:

    Nah. He isn’t.

    BTW he was phoning uncertain R senators to shore up support for ole Brett K. He especially targeted Susan Collins who received several phone calls. Please do not forget that Christine Blasey Ford is still being threatened, has still been unable to return to her home, and still cannot go to work. Her life is ruined. Brett sits on the supreme court. In part due to Mr funny kind sweet here.

    • Jess says:

      I agree with Girl Ninja and Darla. Trump is awful but what Bush and Cheney did was also awful. And yea, let’s not forget about Dubya’s efforts on behalf of an accused sexual assaulter (I am furious about the fact that such a loathsome person is on the Supreme Court every day). I understand Michelle has a different perspective and I love and admire her but I can’t agree with her on this one.

  7. Iknow says:

    They sit next to each other because of protocol and through that, developed this friendship. He was the last president and she’s the first lady of his successor. I respect Michelle and trust her judgement, and I’m sure W. is a nice man. However, I will never forgive him for what he’s done to the America and the world. Historians will trace our undoing to his one stupid decision. While he’s painting on his ranch, soldiers are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  8. Esmom says:

    Not that I don’t think she was being genuine but she was talking to his daughter so maybe even unconsciously she flattered him more than she normally might.

    I know W is highly problematic but he does have human qualities that set him apart from Trump. So it’s notable.

  9. Arpeggi says:

    He’s still a liar and should be in jail for crimes against humanity. Also, his buddy Karl Rove pretty much draw the blueprints of the extremely partisan politics we now witness. W’s campaign for Texas governor against Ann Richards was super nasty and full of lies. He gets no pass, he’s a terrible person.

  10. Tania says:

    She really helped me change my views of him….right up until I read he was stumping for Kavanaugh and then reality set in on how deplorable he is too. He’s cancelled. She’s just a kind person.

  11. Meowuirose says:

    I adore Michelle but jfc Bush is a war criminal. How easily we forget who sent us to Iraq and Afghanistan (which we are still in btw). But no he goes away for a while, paints some portraits, mildly talks shit about #45 and all the sudden hes everyone’s favorite grandpa.

    There were NEVER any WMDs. That war was built on lies, ego and a lust for oil. So sad how quickly we forget and how willing we are to forgive.

  12. Rosemary says:

    I’ve always voted Democrat, but I have to say that I’d much rather spend time chatting to W. than Bill Clinton.

  13. AmberDu says:

    You can like people you don’t always agree with. You also don’t have to trash people you disagree with. That’s what she is saying. It’s simple politeness and manners.

    • Nathalie says:

      Sure, I don’t have to hate you if I disagree with you on the best dessert, outfit or even how much we should pay in taxes. But I’m sorry, if you think that hundreds thousands of lives is an acceptable cost of doing business, I will disagree AND hate. People’s lives are not up for polite debate!

  14. Lucy says:

    This type of comment is beneath her. So is he. I hate to say this, but while I’ll always admire her, this makes me think less of her.

  15. Jessica says:

    The wars he launched, particularly in Iraq, were catastrophic, incompetently managed, massively destructive, hugely consequential, and the dominoes are still falling to this day. The grief and misery these wars wrought on whole societies, ripping their fabric to shreds, is limitless. He does not merit this public rehabilitation.

    I love Michelle. I am currently reading the book. I know politics is not her thing. I know all of these Presidents and First Ladies (Donald and Melania excepted) have little choice but to be classy, polite, cordial and friendly in public. It is a good thing. It maintains continuity. I don’t think Dubya is an unpleasant man or a racist and I do think he possesses considerably more personal decency and humanity than Trump. I am sure he can be quite charming and endearing. None of which is likely to matter one bit to the people whose lives were destroyed by his decisions.

  16. Helen says:

    there’s a person you disagree with… and there’s a war criminal. a war criminal who was calling in favors for brett kavanagh just a handful of weeks ago.

    w. is the softer side (perhaps more insidious side) of everything dump. should be shipped off to the hague until his final breath.

  17. Anastasia says:

    HE IS A WAR CRIMINAL.

    I’m not here for this retroactive cleaning up of his image. Sorry, MO.

  18. StallinOnMyWork says:

    Her husband’s administration has a problematic history as well. He massively expanded domestic surveillance, and need I remind you all of his repeated insistance that there would be “no boots on the ground” in Syria, even though he deployed hundreds of US servicemembers whose boots were, in fact, in the ground? Or that he was intentionally downplaying the reality that there were thousands of crew working on aerial and drone strikes to kill many times their number overseas? Let’s be real here.

    • me says:

      People don’t want to be real. Obama looks like an absolute saint compared to Trump. People were just so happy to finally have an African American president (as was I) that we overlooked some of Obama’s wrongs as well.

    • Rulla says:

      Don’t forget the secret wars abroad and of course the countless deportations at home. As for bush, don’t white wash a war criminal.

    • Nic919 says:

      Every American president takes actions that are imperialistic and cause the unjustified death of people. Some presidents have done worse than others. Obama increased the use of drones and there are many issues around that too. I don’t disagree with those who say Bush is a war criminal, but many US presidents get close to that line as well. She’s judging him on based on his personal interactions and not the military decisions that all presidents make.

      • Lunchtime says:

        Nic919, the military industrial complex in the US – not a conspiracy theory but reality – is very powerful and has a big say in foreign policy. From people like Dick Cheney to private contractors like Academi/Xe/Blackwater, it’s a gravy train of big money. Not too sure the POTUS status is even powerful enough to counter it.

  19. Div says:

    She’s talking to his daughter of all people. Look, I think Bush is a war criminal but I’m going to cut Michelle a break. What is she supposed to say about him? He probably is a kind and sweet to her, so she’s just telling her experience. If she called him an asshole, it would be a huge scandal and we all know how the media tends to treat Black women. I’ve already seen some criticism for her relatively mild criticism of Trump. Here’s another way the media has gone after her, even though she is beloved by many. The majority of tickets for her book sale are going for 20 bucks and she’s donating a portion to charity. VIP packages are about 3000, and people are scalping some of them and raising that price even higher. Some of the media are making it look like all of the tickets are going for thousands of dollars, instead of a handful, and ignoring that the bulk of the tickets are affordable and that every speaking tour charges something. Basically, she is in between a rock and a hard place.

    I think she’s answered these questions about Bush awkwardly and poorly (now and before) but Michelle has shown herself to be a person of grace and dignity. So I’m not gonna jump all over her for making a few missteps. I’m tired of the media tearing down powerful women

    • Darla says:

      This is a good take. It made me think, thanks.

    • Reeses Addict says:

      The Obama’s don’t have to play lovey-dovey with Bush in public. They could keep some polite and reserved and friendly distance. They are purposefully getting closer and that is something else than just doing what conventions require you to do, (not trash talk your predecessor and give your successor some time to settle).

      Saying Bush was a funny and sweet man without criticising his military policies is a bit gross.

      • Div says:

        H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, W., and Clinton have all worked together on charity projects over the years. The Bushes and Clintons are very friendly and spend time together, but Michelle’s the only one getting grief over some awkwardly worded statements on a man she has probably only seen a handful of times.

        I can’t think of a single first lady that has ever criticized the politics before of a previous president, even Michelle’s comments on Trump were about his racist birtherism in context towards her husband— instead of his politics as a whole. Do I wish she would? Sure. But that’s not the way the world works, the world is unfair and Michelle criticizing Bush on Iraq might endanger the Obama Foundation as it is a not a politically partisan charity, her pushing of women’s rights, healthy eating, etc. It would cause a huge scandal and would follow her for the rest of her life, when all she wants to do is remain mostly apolitical, and when gets political it is in a non-partisan way and do charity work.

        I’m not saying it’s not a misstep and a bit gross (she could have just left it as “he’s a kind person”), I’m just saying Michelle is a human being and makes mistakes and I’m not going to tear her down for not being perfect—especially when the media has been relentlessly cruel and racist towards her over the years. If I had to deal with that much relentless racism and scrutiny, I would have gone crazy.

    • Kitten says:

      You expressed that perfectly and with the nuance and fairness that is missing from most of the comments here.

      That being said, I still hate W with every fiber of my being.

      • Div says:

        Thanks Kitten, and I feel the same way about W.

        I may have gone a bit overboard responding to other questions on this particular post lol, but I’m just a bit frustrated with some of the reactions I’ve seen towards Michelle for this on another site and the double standards/out of context coverage of her speaking/book tour (even far left anti-capitalist types get paid speaking fees, but Michelle’s tour, in which 95% of the tickets are extremely affordable and a big chunk is going to charity, is being spun as ‘greedy’ which drives me insane).

        At the end of the day, she’s human, she makes mistakes like all of us, and people are forgetting the circumstances/tradition/protocol when it comes to First Ladies and how she’s put in an awkward spot by these type of questions—especially as most of the charity work she’s involved with is apolitical and the Obama Foundation is not a partisan political charity.

    • Mrsbump says:

      You are too kind Div in your defense of this Dubya 2.0 that michelle is staging.

      She’s an incredibly intelligent woman, she knew that this question would come up.
      She could simply NOT have been interviewed by his daughter, and she would have side stepped that sh!t.

      It was really that easy.

  20. Veronica S. says:

    I love you Michelle, but please don’t soften this man in the eyes of Gen Z. I’m sure he is a good person to his friends. That’s what makes his actions all the more awful. A lot of innocent people are dead because of him. Granted, it’s not like the Obama administration did much better to ramp down fighting over there with all the drone strikes. 9_9

  21. aang says:

    Rich and powerful birds flocking together. No surprise.

  22. anp says:

    I will not admire this man because of the Iraq war. I wish Michelle would try not to re invent him.

  23. Ginger says:

    He’s a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet war criminal.

  24. RBC says:

    Does make me wonder if there would be anyone around who would have any kind words to say about the current resident of the White House when he leaves office?

  25. Cay says:

    I had a work colleague whose husband was in the Texas senate when Dubya was governor of Texas. Oy vey, the stories she told about Dubya. When you say Michelle is used to guys flirting with her and she knows how to handle Dubya, you are right on the money. My colleague told lots of stories about how “friendly” he was to women, including her (my friend, not Michelle).

  26. French girl says:

    There is a very interesting column in NYTimes how some republican persons use Trump to sanitize their legacies https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1061692684769943554?s=21
    I bet the release of the movie Vice about Dick Cheney is going to be the occasion to dig dirt or stop to be « nostalgic »

  27. Syd says:

    Michelle seems to have very lax standards when it comes to white men. She was fond of Harvey weinstein too. There’s that cringe inducing video of her introducing him at some event with over the top praise. She also had her daughter intern with him.
    I can’t comprehend why a woc with her platform and influence capes for powerful and discpicable white men.

    • Mumbles says:

      That’s not cool, I agree, but lots of powerful people have been very close to Harvey Weinstein. Google-image him and the Clintons, for example.

      But your point still stands, that powerful people are in a special club and as much as we may like them as individuals, the vast majority of us will never break into that club.

  28. Amelie says:

    It is interesting to watch Bush try to rehabilitate his image post-Trump. I can believe he is charming and funny and endearing in person but he made some very poor decisions whose ramifications we are still feeling to this day. He started two wars, one right around the time of my birthday (Iraq got invaded by the US end of March 2003). My middle and high school years were dominated by headlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and conspiracy theories of weapons of mass destruction. I’m not sure I hated him because I did not pay attention to politics back then the way I do now but I did understand even at that age that he got us into massive debt and that soldiers’ lives were being needlessly sacrificed to carry out his vendetta on the Middle East. I always said 9/11 was an excuse he used to invade Afghanistan for “national security.” Had 9/11 not occurred he would have found another way somehow. I’m 100% convinced of that.

  29. Mego says:

    Terrible President, read some convincing articles that point to him being a sociopath. More covert than Trump but just as dangerous.

  30. kayahead says:

    yes, agree with everyone who despises him….he is a war criminal and was a terrible president, but lets not fool ourselves about the Iraq war under his administration. The entire war was not unique to his presidency and was very much in line with America’s history of big sticking the rest of the world. This is probably the truth of what Michelle grapples with – American Presidents have pretty much always done terrible things to other people’s countries. plus the fact is that on the flip side he is by all accounts charming and self depracating in person and has been involved in development aid and HIV in Africa both during and post presidency. That right there must soften him a bit more in her mind….just a thought….

  31. TW says:

    She’s a bit too kind. 1,000,000 Iraq’s died. But appreciate what she is saying.

  32. Malachite says:

    I just can’t on this revisionist history of W. I do not believe my morals (or anyone else’s) should shift because someone more repugnant is now in the White House. Bush is responsible not only for our service members’ deaths and PTSD, but ONE MILLION civilian Iraqi lives. I hate Trump with the burning heat of 5 billion suns, but I doubt even he has this much blood on his hands. W seems better in comparison because he is not a blatant, unhinged maniac tweeting crap at 3am. But let’s not let that blind us to his unforgivable slaughter.

  33. noway says:

    These comments scare me. George W. Bush was a terrible President, one of the worst. He got so much wrong. Immigration and HIV might be the only things he was on the right path. I never questioned his motivation though. He did what he did, because he thought it was right. He was just so wrong!!!!! He lied a fair amount too, but not like now every other word is a lie. Trump does everything to benefit Trump. Trump is a classic narcissist. Trump wants to be a dictator or he’d probably like King better. There is a “bigly” difference. Lumping all the bad with the OMG this is close to catastrophic, belittles the catastrophic. This means George W. ,and others like him. could be personally nice to be around, not everything is about politics. You can like him personally, and not like him in his former capacity. I find Bush in interviews to be interesting and nice, and he is definitely a family man. I see why Michelle Obama might like him in that setting. Plus as you can see from her interviews she is big on civility. I applaud her for this.

    Now I just saw Jenna Bush Hager and the reason George W. and Michelle are always together is because of protocol in seating. Which means once Trump is done being President, Barack will be next to Melania. Can’t wait, for so many reasons but I bet they get divorced so who knows.

  34. Jane says:

    He’s a war criminal. It’s really as simple as that. He’s responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

    I’m sorry but cuddling up to a war criminal and calling him kind and sweet isn’t dignified or classy or graceful, and if she had talked about, say, Gaddafi that way, people would have been absolutely horrified. Bush’s crimes aren’t somehow made better by virtue of being Western and American.

  35. M says:

    He did it for the oil. The failed assassination attempt is a cover.

  36. Myrtle says:

    I find this very disturbing, and I find it even more disturbing that everyone else here doesn’t find it disturbing, too.

    • Anastasia says:

      I’m sitting right here with you.

    • Sushicheatmeal says:

      I’m with you guys too, and thumbs up to all the posters who commented on Bush and Bush Jr’s legacies. They’re psychopaths and allowed their entourages to profit off the destablisation of the Middle East, and in the process murdered countless civilians and created a tide of refugees. Maureen Dowd recently wrote a great piece on Cheney. Don’t look back with nostalgia or whatever it is just because Trump is so obviously awful.
      Also IMO the Obamas have always styled themselves as celebrities (celeb friends, glamour, and personality over dull policy). Michelle is promoting a book and recently namedropped the Klooneys and Harry and Meghan (the Royals are also big into the celebrity thing) with a leak on a dinner party in London. People with actual power and responsibility to the public (or links to these) should stay away from the temptation to be (likeable) celebrities.

  37. Skipper says:

    I like that they are buddies. She sees the good in him. I like his artistic side.
    He is now the Second Worst President in history.

  38. SpillDatT says:

    Class A Michelle Obama for the win always.

    She isn’t whitewashing him, but she is saying that it’s ok to be respectful & treat someone with dignity and grace even if you don’t agree with them 100% of the time. She is an amazing role model for everyone. It’s also nice of him to be polite & friendly to her, and of course pass on candy when needed lol

    • Nathalie says:

      yeah! It’s totally fine to disagree politely about murder.

      • SpillDatT says:

        Look man, Michelle has to be slightly diplomatic when she is on being interviewed by his daughter.

        Also this woman handled a whole bunch of ignorant, racist stuff thrown her way while her husband was in the office, as well as fending off everything being said about her daughters.

        Anything she did, does & will do in the future will always be harshly & sometimes unjustly criticized by everyone who is a a staunch supporter of the current racist Republicans as well as Trump supporters.

        What did you want her to say or do when protocol demands you sit next to or interact with previous Presidents?

        Throw a shoe at him?

        Can you imagine how that would go? Or how vilified this woman and her family would be if she even looked less than politely at a white guy?

        She is not a stupid person. And no where did say say “Oh yes, W is the best human being in the entire history of the World.”

        Yes, he has blood on his hands. So does almost every single sitting President of the U.S. in recent memory, including Obama. They all ordered missions, assassinations, assaults, deals whatbot that changed the landscape of entire countries as well as the World. There are probably more deaths that we are aware of as a of result all the U.S. meddling into everything, everywhere not just war. And that goes for within the U.S. as well.

        I am not Bush supporter, I’m just pointing out some facts. That doesn’t mean I can’t see the ravages of W’s war either.

        I love Michelle, she is a smart woman and while I may not have been able to sit there sharing candy with W, I can’t cancel her for this. She was and is still in a damned if she does, damned of she doesn’t position, simply because of office her husband held as well as the colour of her skin. Sadly.

  39. Chef Grace says:

    Old Dubya is a typical good old boy who can smile and candy share all he wants. The facts are there though. He used a horrific act of terrorism to have his war. I don’t care how many times Mrs. Obama hugs the old fart, he is still a turd.💩

  40. Sara says:

    Let me just ask this. Those of you accusing GWB of all these atrocities that he was responsible for actually think he was the Mastermind behind all of it??? Come on now, he is way too dumb to have planned all that. He was the face that is all.

  41. Reeses Addict says:

    I agree and thank you for analysing the pedestal-situation.

    I too think that Mrs. Obama “plays the game” of getting along with all the other ex-presidents and their families.
    But rehabilitating Bush really goes several steps to far. It will improve the Bushs’ image at the expense of the Obamas’ image. Bush started too many wars which killed too many people and he did at least let happen what happened in Guantanamo. He gave the privatisation of the school system a hefty lift which has very negative consequences for low-income and especially non-white pupils. Increasing costs and increasing number of expensive but useless testing without much improvement in the quality. School dinners got worse under Bush and wasn’t it Michelle Obama’s mission to improve the quality of school dinners?
    What about health care under Bush? Health care for veterans?
    Gross increases in military spending? Wasting money on paying for the development of weapons which never worked anyway?

    Why? Mrs. Obama could be friendly and polite without this obvious public lovey-dovey display with the Bush family?

  42. Div says:

    I think this is a good point. All US presidents are fallible and frankly all of their administrations have done horrendous thing, but Bush’s administration is on another level when it comes atrocities. Even Jimmy Carter, whose administration’s support of Suharto and his genocidal campaign in Timore Leste was even worse than our current support of Saudi Arabia for a couple of reasons.

    I think Michelle handled this poorly, but at the same time I feel like people are failing to acknowledge what she’s trying to do (or as you said, has* to do). She can’t say ‘he’s kind to me and a nice person, but he truly fucked up and was a horrible president.’ The world just doesn’t work that way, it’d cause a huge scandal and follow her for the rest of her days. It might even hurt the Obama Foundation, as it’s not a partisan political charity. She’s trying to stay apolitical for the most part and attempting to show universal acceptance and class and kindness, and while I disagree with how she handled this situation I do wonder if trying to see the best in everyone is the only way she can deal after having to handle the relentless racism she has been subjected too.

  43. KK2 says:

    I think she’s trying to do exactly what you said- look at people as fallible human beings. The Obama presidency had its issues too, as a prior poster pointed out. I think part of their connection is that there is a real bond between the few living people who have ever occupied in the White House- there aren’t many people you can talk to about what that experience was like. It’s a different perspective than the rest of us. They are also both friendly with the Clintons.

    I also think that developing a real friendship with someone who, on paper, you should hate is one of the real joys in life. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that (MLK). I think that’s where Michelle O is coming from here. Love doesn’t mean forgetting things that happened or rewriting history, its just about looking at people with empathy. All people- having empathy for GWB doesn’t mean lacking empathy for people hurt by his policies and decisions. Empathy is not a zero sum game! This country is poisoned by hate and lack of empathy right now. It’s terrible. Michelle is leading by example, as is her usual. And think about the message it sends to republicans too, especially that hard core right that hated having Obama in the white house and challenged his citizenship and all that– to see GWB cuddling up to MO. It is exactly the optics we need right now. So I have no confusion about why she’s doing this.

  44. Veronica S. says:

    I suspect that as the only black FLOTUS, she was also in an uncomfortable position of having to maintain a certain level of poise and “decency,” regardless if it’s genuine. And inevitably, the danger of humanizing problematic people is that they can become dear to us with enough charisma and friendliness.

    But realistically, the Obama administration didn’t do much better where the Middle East is concerned. That’s the bigger reason they can’t dig into Bush about it – because then we’d have to ask them the hard questions about their actions as well. Politicians should always be dealt with a certain level of caution because the unfortunate reality is that it’s easy to do terrible things when you’re ordering an action that affects people on the other side of the planet.

  45. Div says:

    I think the lovey doveyness is overplayed, tbh, as Kaiser mentioned. Bush often looks red faced, and I suspect he’s not as sober as he used to be. I remember the first time people said something about Bush and Michelle, and it frankly looked more like she was trying to politely deal with someone who was a bit out of it—he was grabbing at her hand and she was patting it sort of like in an exasperated way.

    She also tends to be effusive about nearly everyone. Frankly, I feel like this is just a case of poor wording/awkwardness (like all of us, Michelle isn’t perfect) while trying to attempt to maintain the tradition of first ladies of not saying anything negative about ex presidents. Her mild criticism of Trump, which wasn’t even about his politics but how he attacked Obama in a racist way, got the media after her by a surprising amount of outlets.

  46. Esmom says:

    Div, you make an important point. The media created this lovey-dovey relationship, not Michelle. Or to be more specific, we created this little fantasy based on the images the media showed and she’s simply responding to that. I don’t think she ever intentionally set out to rehabilitate W’s image.

  47. Stephanie says:

    Bye. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out