George W Bush at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa on Dec. 10, 2013.
Rex Features/AP

George W. Bush talks about painting and Jeb’s 2016 possibilities

For America’s 43rd president, the cure to post-White House blues involves an easel and a canvas. 

“I really don’t miss power and fame,” former President George W. Bush told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie, before admitting that he did feel let down by a lack of responsibility after leaving office. 

“Painting’s helped fill that void,” he said brightly, revealing a never-before-seen portrait Bush painted of himself and his dad. “I was very proud to be standing next to a man I admire greatly,” he said, before chortling that “first thing I wanted to make sure was I got the noses right.” 

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The first President Bush is not only the subject of his son’s painting, but also serves as the focus of his new book, ”41: A Portrait of My Father,” which is out this week.

“He was overshadowed by a very transformative president, Ronald Reagan, but eventually, historians will realize he was a great one-term president,” Bush said of his respect for his dad and why he wrote the book, which reveals just how much his father grieved losing his second term in office.

As for whether his brother, Jeb, will follow in his and his father’s footsteps and head to the White House, Bush said he really doesn’t know, but said, “I hope he runs. I think in his soul, he knows he can do the job.”

As for whether there will be another Bush-Clinton showdown?

“Bill Clinton and I do events together, and this person said, ‘What about another Bush/Clinton race?’ And my quip was, ‘First one didn’t turn out too well,’” he said with a laugh.

George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Jeb Bush

George W. Bush talks about painting and Jeb's 2016 possibilities