Jenna Bush Hager is the daughter of former President George W. Bush. She’s had a front-row seat to both his presidency and now his artistic post-presidency. One of his portraits, however, seems to rub Hager the wrong way, and Hoda Kotb told the world all about it.
George W. Bush’s Passion
A bit of a renaissance man, Bush has a surprisingly eclectic list of hobbies. He once owned the Texas Rangers and never lost his love for baseball. Bush is also deeply religious and very well-read, with his home adorned by books by James Joyce and Gore Vidal among others. He’s always been a golfer as well.
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Since he left office in 2009, Bush has picked up the paintbrush. His passion for painting is well documented, and it’s led to a few art exhibitions. In 2021, he painted 43 portraits of remarkable immigrants and turned them into a touring show and book: Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants. His paintings of service people are currently on tour throughout the United States.
One Unwelcome Painting Of Jenna Bush Hager
On Today, Kotb surprised her co-host, Hager, with a portrait made by her father. The two were discussing when it’s appropriate to have a photo of yourself on display. Kotb cites meaningful occasions like graduation, and Hager says that “the other one is a meaningful portrait or a painting done by either an artist or a loved one.”
Instantly, Hager thought of her dad. She says, “The one my dad did of me is not…” before being cut off by the portrait itself.
It’s… well, it’s a very nice gesture. “Oh Gosh! How did y’all have it?” Hager asks. She calls it a bad painting and fears she even looks like it. “I don’t have it… he never sent it to me because I said no thank you.”
Some People Liked It
The Instagram comments are actually pretty supportive of the former president. One writes, “I think you should hang it up. It may not look exactly like you but your dad took the time to pain that portrait. I actually think he did a good job with it. It captures your eyes perfectly!” Another is quite the critic: ”sorry but not a great pic.” Brutal.
Many believe Hager will change her tune someday. One follower writes, “Oh I get it Jenna but there will be a day you will cherish it.” As Bush improves as an artist, he’ll no doubt return to Hager as a subject. Perhaps she’s better off waiting.