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Obama shares stage with Bush for portrait unveiling

Former President George W. Bush former first lady LaurBush sttogether stage during ceremony unveil their portraits East Room White House

Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush stand together on stage during a ceremony to unveil their portraits in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 31,2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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Updated: May 31, 2012 1:11PM

WASHINGTON — 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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