Former President George W. Bush says one of the reasons he gets along with former first lady Michelle Obama is that they both enjoy a break from overly “serious” political circles.

Mr. Bush sat down with People magazine this week to promote his new book, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors,” when his relationship with Mrs. Obama came up. The two have sat next to one another at multiple events, and a warm hug the former first lady gave him in September at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture went viral on social media.

“When I saw her, it was a genuine expression of affection,” Mr. Bush said Wednesday.

The former president said he enjoys her company because his sense of humor is appreciated, while she seems relaxed by his laid back attitude.

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