How Barbra Streisand Reacted When George W. Bush Kissed Her

Barbra Streisand’s liberal values are reflected in her music, however, that did not stop her from crossing paths with President George W. Bush. In fact, he surprised her by kissing her when they met. Here’s how Streisand reacted to the surprise kiss — and what she had to say about Bush in retrospect.

Barbra Streisand | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

What Barbra Streisand thought when President George W. Bush embraced her

During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Streisand said she’s a staunch Democrat. She famously recorded an entire album — Live Concert at the Forum — during a concert in support of George McGovern’s failed 1972 campaign for president. However, her history of liberal activism didn’t stop her from receiving Kennedy Center Honors during the Bush administration. She never met Bush prior to the ceremony, but she spent years blogging her criticisms of him. That did not stop Bush from praising her outspokeness at the ceremony and surprising her with a kiss.

According to Broadway World, she opened up about her feelings about the kiss. “So it was just as surprising to me as it apparently was to the press that upon meeting President Bush and extending my hand to him, he said to me, “Aw c’mon, gimme a hug and a kiss,” and then he proceeded to embrace me. I must say, I found him very warm and completely disarming…even though I think perhaps he was kissing me hello as I was kissing him goodbye…”

“Woman in Love”

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Streisand applauded Bush’s humor during the event. In addition, she said Bush’s interactions with her proved that sometimes art can transcend political barriers. She also said that she could agree to disagree with Bush.

What Barbra Streisand thought of President Donald Trump compared to other American presidents

Streisand’s involvement in politics didn’t end there. In 2018, she released an album called Walls which was heavily critical of President Donald Trump. Walls features original material alongside classic political songs like the standard “Happy Days Are Here Again” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.” During an interview with the Los Angeles Times about Walls, she said she was upset that Trump was less articulate than President Barack Obama and previous American presidents.

“Happy Days Are Here Again”

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What she said about George W. Bush during the Trump administration

During the same interview, she reflected her feelings about Bush. “Look, when Bush got in, that was hard for me,” she recalled. “He was selected by the Supreme Court; it was kind of a judicial coup, like this was with [Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh. And he went into a war that I didn’t think…” She added “I wrote something on my website — it’s in my archives — 12 reasons not to go into this war.” 

How did she feel about him with years of hindsight? “Oh, he seems quite pleasant in retrospect,” she said. “Reasonable.” Streisand had issues with Bush but he didn’t inspire her to record an entire album of protest songs like Trump did.