No shoes, no tie: Bush portrait is unveiled

By Leonard Doyle
Saturday 20 December 2008 01:00

"I suspected there would be a good-sized crowd, once word got out about my hanging," George Bush joked yesterday at the unveiling of his official portrait in Washington.

His presidency may go down in history as one of the worst but at least there were no outraged shoe-throwers. There were a few raised eyebrows, however, at the first portrait of a tie-less President to hang in the National Gallery.

The paintings of the most admired presidents are hung in the White House. It's now a racing certainty that George Bush's official portrait will not be gracing those walls for some time.

It will be difficult to forget some other images, such as his appearance in a flight suit under the banner "mission accomplished" after invading Iraq, or the televised images of him being attacked with a pair of shoes in Baghdad. He did admit he is heading out on a low. But looking to history, he reminded his audience that the first and last portraits in the gallery were of a George W.

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