- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 7, 2014

First lady Michelle Obama only had the kindest of words to say about Laura Bush during a recent stage appearance to empower women in Africa, outright calling the former White House figure a “friend,” despite political differences.

“Laura Bush set a high bar for me during her time in the White House, and she has continued to do outstanding work around the world since she and her husband left Washington,” Mrs. Obama said at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Reuters reported. “And I consider her not just a role model but also a friend.”

The pair initially chatted in November 2008, right after President Obama won the White House. Mrs. Bush gave Mrs. Obama a tour of the living quarters, Reuters reported.

Mrs. Bush also defended Mrs. Obama during the campaign season when critics condemned her for saying her husband’s win in the White House made her “really proud” of her country for the first time in her life. Mrs. Bush’s public defense of Mrs. Obama led the latter to send the former a thank-you letter, Reuters reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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