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 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 said.
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.”