Bush, Obama on stage together share laughs

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By BEN FELLER and JULIE PACE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is sharing a stage with former President George W. Bush, the predecessor he often inveighs against, in a friendly White House welcome for the unveiling of the 43rd president's official portrait.

Obama told Bush and an assembly of former Bush aides and cabinet members: "We may have our differences politically, but the presidency transcends those differences."

It was a rare public appearance for the former president, who was joined by his wife, Laura, and other family members, including his father, former president George H.W. Bush, and his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush.

George W. Bush jokingly noted that the first presidential portrait is of George Washington, a symmetry he said that was worth noting: "It now starts and ends with a George W."

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