- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2017

Former President George W. Bush says one of the reasons he gets along with former first lady Michelle Obama is that they both enjoy a break from overly “serious” political circles.

Mr. Bush sat down with People magazine this week to promote his new book, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors,” when his relationship with Mrs. Obama came up. The two have sat next to one another at multiple events, and a warm hug the former first lady gave him in September at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture went viral on social media.

“When I saw her, it was a genuine expression of affection,” Mr. Bushsaid Wednesday.

The former president said he enjoys her company because his sense of humor is appreciated, while she seems relaxed by his laid back attitude.

“She kind of likes my sense of humor. Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like,” Mr. Bush, 70, said with a smile. “I needle her a little bit and around her, I’m fairly lighthearted. [The Obamas] are around serious people all the time and we just took to each other.”

Mr. Bush and his wife Laura said they believe the two families will probably work together going forward on veterans’ issues. They expect it may take a bit as Mr. Obama acclimates himself to life outside the White House.

“It’s going to take them a while to find their footing and figure out how they’re going to do what they want to do,” Mr. Bush said. “But if there’s a way to be symbiotic, we’ll do so.”

The 43rd commander in chief’s book, a collection of 66 oil paintings made to honor the sacrifices of military veterans since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, is on sale now. Profits from the book will go to the George W. Bush Presidential Center and its Military Service Initiative.

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