Former first lady Laura Bush on Tuesday had a chance to visit
the place she once called home, as first lady Melania Trump
gave her a tour of the White House holiday decorations.
Bush was in town, of course, for memorial services for her
father-in-law, former President George H.W. Bush, who died
Friday. The 41st president is currently lying in state in the
Capitol building before services at Washington National
Cathedral on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump expressed his pleasure at hosting the
Bush family, including former President George W. Bush and
Laura Bush, at Blair House, the presidential guesthouse near
the White House where visiting heads of state and other VIP
visitors can lay their heads while in Washington.
“Looking forward to being with the wonderful Bush family at
Blair House today,” he tweeted Tuesday. “The former First Lady
will be coming over to the White House this morning to be given
a tour of the Christmas decorations by Melania. The elegance
& precision of the last two days have been remarkable!”
After the tour, Bush shared photos of her homecoming of sorts.
“A sweet visit during this somber week,” Bush wrote in an
Instagram caption accompanying a photo that showed her and
several family members posing with White House staff in front
of the portrait of the late George H.W. Bush, its frame draped
in black fabric. “Thanks to Mrs. Trump for inviting our family
to the White House to see the decorations and our old friends,
the residence staff.”
First families often bond with the residence staff, the coterie
of chefs, butlers and cleaning staff responsible for caring for
them and for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The first lady and Mrs. Bush have a warm relationship: The pair
have shared tea at the White House and spent time together when
Trump traveled to Texas for the funeral of former first lady
Barbara Bush in April.
That’s in contrast to the nonexistent bond between the current
first lady and her immediate predecessor. Michelle Obama said
in an interview last month that she had extended to Trump the
same offer that Bush had given her: “If you need any help, I’m
a phone call away.” While Obama apparently took Bush up on the
offer, Trump had not reached out to Obama for advice, Obama
Trump’s spokeswoman suggested at the time that the first lady
had all the counsel she needed. “Mrs. Trump is a strong and
independent woman who has been navigating her role as first
lady in her own way,” the spokeswoman said. “When she needs
advice on any issue, she seeks it from her professional team
within the White House.”