George W. Bush lectures at Whitman Art Department

Kyle Seasly

Nothing quite says ‘Spring’ like former presidents giving commencement addresses on their post-presidential passions. Few have forgotten President Jimmy Carter’s April 1994 speech at Columbia University regarding Habitat for Humanity, or Ulysses S. Grant’s lecture titled “I Won the War Drunk” at Harvard University in 1868.

Our 43rd president, however, wasn’t offered the commencement speech at Whitman graduation. Instead, President George W. Bush guest lectured at the Whitman Art Department this past week. Bush, who left office with two ongoing wars, a trashed economy and lax regulations on the environment, has turned into a post-presidential Picasso.

President Ponts contacted the Bush family through a mutual friend to get Bush to speak at commencement. The Young Republicans Club at Whitman immediately celebrated the possibility, and donations began flooding into the college. The faculty, however, sent out an email that basically said, “NO FUCKING WAY.” Ponts, perturbed, emailed the two members of the Young Republicans Club, asking for a “set of principles” and a “simple goal” that would allow the students’ parents to continue to donate absurd amounts of money to the college through some sort of compromise. The Young Republicans responded, still pushing for Bush to come to Whitman, but not as the commencement speaker. Ponts, slick as ever, figured he could get Bush to lecture at the Art Department. When contacted for a response, the entirety of Whitman’s art faculty laughed for five minutes. In an exclusive Skype interview with the former president, we got down to brass tacks.

Backpage: So, Mr. President, are you glad to be lecturing on your new hobby?

Bush: Yes, I am. No one invites me anywhere. I’m just happy to get off my damn ranch. I’m sick of all these Lil’ Bush reruns.

BP: What is your philosophy when it comes to making art?

Bush: Well, let me tell ya –– anywhere a paintbrush stirs, let art critics fear. I believe that God wants everybody to be paint. That’s what I believe, and that’s one part of my foreign policy… I mean, painting policy.

BP: How would you describe your paintings?

Bush: Well, I would say they’re misunderestimated most of the time. No one gets what I’m trying to say. Painting is where I find hope, where my wings take dream.

BP: Wings take dream? Like the band?

Bush: Forget it. I’m the decider.

Bush decided to show a few of his art pieces, portraits ranging from Hamid Karzai to Vladamir Putin, despite the two leaders’ poor standing with the United States.

“These guys are my pals,” he said.

One moment was awkward, however. When Bush was walking off stage, he very clearly passed gas. He turned around and said, “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.” The crowd of 18 erupted in laughter.