The Washington Post

President Obama gets a surprise visitor in Houston

President Obama had a surprise visitor upon landing at the Houston airport: former President George H.W. Bush.

Sitting in a wheelchair and clad in khakis and brightly striped socks, Bush greeted the president and Michelle Obama on the tarmac next to Air Force One.

Former President George H. W. Bush greets President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama as they arrive at Intercontinental Airport on April 9, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Bush smiled broadly at the Obamas as they walked down the steps of Air Force One. They spoke with him for several minutes. Michelle Obama held Bush's right hand, and President Obama placed his hand on Bush's shoulder. There were lots of laughs and smiles.

"I just wanted to say hello to the president and the first lady. When the president comes to your hometown, you show up and welcome him,” Bush said.

 Reporters said it was Bush's idea to come greet Obama. 

George H.W. Bush has been back in the spotlight of late. Last weekend, a three-day symposium celebrated the 25th anniversary of Bush's presidency. Held at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Tex., it featured discussions of Bush's foreign and domestic achievements and, as is required, a Texas barbecue.

President Obama will head to Austin on Thursday, where he will meet up with another Bush: George W. Bush. Obama, Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will attend a Civil Rights Summit at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. George W. Bush will speak Thursday evening. 

Katie Zezima is a national political correspondent covering the 2016 presidential election. She previously served as a White House correspondent for The Post.



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