George W. Bush Shows Paintings to Air Force One Crowd on S. Africa Trip

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 03:47 PM

By Robin Farmer

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What happens when former president George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, and ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spend 16 hours together aboard Air Force One en route to the memorial service for anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela?

They enjoy each other’s company and tweet photos to prove it.

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White House photographer Pete Souza shared the photographs of the world leaders looking relaxed on Twitter.

The current president, former president, and to many observers, aspiring president, are seen smiling in the photos, although there are none showing all three together aboard the presidential aircraft.



In one photo, Bush uses his iPad to show off his paintings. He pursued the hobby after leaving office in 2008.

The New York Times reported White House aides said Obama and first lady Michelle were in the conference room with Clinton, Bush, and Bush’s wife during the early leg of the trip.

“There have been very good conversations in that room,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary said.

Luminaries and leaders around the world came together to pay tribute to Mandela, who fought against South African government’s system of racial oppression and later became the nation’s first black president.

Former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter traveled separately. Unable to travel that far, George H.W. Bush was the only living U.S. president who did not attend.

Commenters on a Yahoo article had a mixed reaction about the gathering.

A poster wrote: “A good step in the right direction.....time to stop acting foolish and embrace peace and love. Congrats Bush and Obama.”

Wrote another: “Too bad they can't all get along and join together to do something good for our country.”

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