George W Bush Portrait Unveiling to Feature Awkward Obama Meeting

Former President George W. Bush is set to return to the White House next week to attend the unveiling of his official portrait.

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(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)Former US President George Bush and Laura Bush in this 2005 file photo.

Bush and his wife will visit on May 31 to dine with Obama and first lady Michelle Obama as well as attend the unveiling.

The former president has not been to the White House for the past two years, and has kept a relatively low profile since the end of his presidency. He was recently featured in the media for giving a brief informal endorsement to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

After a speech in Washington DC Bush told reporters as elevator doors were closing, "I'm for Mitt Romney."

It is believed that Obama and Bush will maintain their professional behavior towards one another. However, many commentators are suggesting the meeting could be awkward given Obama's very open criticism of Bush's economic record. Obama recently blamed Bush's policies for the economic collapse that took place towards the end of the Bush era, and told voters that Republican Mitt Romney would re-implement those faulty policies.

However, they attended the 10th anniversary of 9/11 together at the World Trade Center site last year, and also in the aftermath of the devastating Haiti earthquake Obama called Bush a person of "extraordinary stature" to help direct financial resources towards the ravaged country.

The George W. Bush portrait unveiling will take place on May 31 at the White House.