Nation says goodbye to Bush: 'To us, he was close to perfect'

Posted December 07, 2018

"You had seen a lot of chatty talk between the Clintons and the Obamas, the Carters", Wallace said, notes The Hill.

It was Bush, who sat with other family member at his father's funeral, who appeared to break the solemnity, offering gregarious handshakes to Trump and all of the former presidents and their spouses.

President Donald Trump shook hands with his predecessor, Barack Obama, and former first lady Michelle Obama.

If the Bushes are everything wrong with democracy, at least they didn't threaten it in the ways that Trump does. However, there were not greetings exchanged between the Trumps and the Clintons, or the Carters.

Clinton acknowledged Trump, but they didn't shake hands.

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Bush Sr. was 94 when he died Friday night. "He knew exactly what he was doing by opting not to exclude Trump from his funeral; he controlled the uncontrollable", he concluded. This is not a funeral, this is a day of celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life.

He was president from 1989-1993 and was known for overseeing a post-Cold War transition as well as the Gulf War.

Thursday morning eulogies were given by those close to Bush senior, including one from former Secretary of State James Baker, and the president's grandson, George P. Bush.

"Even someone as modest as me", he said, pausing for a cascade of knowing laughter, "threw in a few more adjectives here and there, to extend the pleasure of the experience".

Despite any bad blood, the family of the 41st president made it clear that Trump was invited to his funeral - in contrast with the last state funeral for Republican Sen.

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Fred Curry, one of the few African-Americans in line, is a registered Democrat from Hyattsville, Maryland, who voted for Bush in 1988, the election won by the one-term president. "This loathing of Trump is a force of nature that is orders of magnitude greater than what they felt about Bush", he explained, adding that many in the media later realized they "badly misjudged" his presidency.

Wednesday's national funeral service caps three days of remembrance by dignitaries and ordinary citizens.

Mulroney, too, struggled at one point to contain himself as he recounted Bush, a former navy pilot, showing him a plaque mounted at the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

At a time of extraordinary and deep political fissures, Bush was looked to this week as a gracious, humble servant of country who aimed to bridge the divide. In Mark K. Updegrove's book "The Last Republicans", published past year, the elder Bush called Trump a "blowhard".

Those insults have been set aside, but the list of funeral service speakers marked the first time since Lyndon Johnson's death in 1973 that a sitting president was not tapped to eulogize a late president.

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