Kate Hicks

Times like these are exactly why the word awkward was invented.

President Obama welcomed back his predecessor, the ever-maligned George W. Bush and his lovely wife Laura to the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits. The whole event was very dignified, of course, but there's clearly some tension between the two presidents, especially since 44's favorite rhetorical strategy is to blame 43 for...well, everything.

Unfortunately, that verbal tic made its way into Obama's remarks this afternoon, when the current president kinda-sorta blamed the former for the dire economic straights in which we have lately found ourselves.

In all fairness, the remainder of his talk commended Bush for his tenure as Chief Executive, especially for how he handled 9/11. Obama was a gracious host, and he and Michelle had plenty of kind words for the Bushes (although, perhaps this is just me projecting, but the dynamic among the four of them seemed...stilted, especially when taking the group photo).

Honestly, it seems like Obama has relied for so long on Bush as a scapegoat that he doesn't really know how to talk about the economy without mentioning W. Even if he didn't intend to place blame -- as I'm sure was the case, at least for today's purposes -- he's simply so unwilling to accept any responsibility for our disastrous economy that he'll allude to the damage Bush did in office while introducing him to accept his presidential portrait. It's sad, really. And it calls for one of these:

Awkward turtle, indeed.

Kate Hicks

Kate Hicks is one of Townhall.com's web editors. You can follow her on Twitter @KateBHicks.