WASHINGTON (CBSLA/AP) — It was candy. Or maybe it was a tissue.
Whatever it is, or was, the pass from Laura Bush to George Bush to Michelle Obama had the Internet talking Saturday.
Seated in McCain Row 1, the former Republican president at one point could be seen handing the former first lady, wife of Bush’s Democratic successor, something — which she accepted.
It was too far away in the massive cathedral to say for sure. But that didn’t stop Twitter from speculating that the object might have been candy, or a tissue.
The simple, and some would say benign gesture, seemed to touch many for a spirit of cooperation and kindness often lacking in politics these days.
During Obama’s speech, Mrs. Obama and Bush turned to each other, smiled and nodded.
Retiring Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake tweeted a photo of the front row with the caption, “Decency wins.”
Memories mixed with humor, grief and lessons on civility marked Sen. John McCain’s memorial service Saturday at Washington National Cathedral, the last event in Washington of the five-day farewell tour.
The bi-partisan touches were everywhere — including the late senator’s pall bearers.
Every aspect of the senator’s week-long memorial carried political and personal significance.
Among the pall bearers, former Vice President Joe Biden, actor Warren Beatty, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Russian democracy advocate Vladimir Kara-Murza, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and former Sens. Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat; Phil Gramm, a Texas Republican; and Gary Hart, a Colorado Democrat.
McCain’s wife, Cindy, was composed during most of the service and other events throughout the five-day farewell to her husband. But she broke down at Saturday’s memorial service as opera singer Renee Fleming sang “Danny Boy” at the request of the music-loving late senator.
During the performance, Mrs. McCain shut her eyes and put her hand over her mouth. She then rested her head on the shoulder of her son Jack. Tears streamed down her face, which she wiped away as Fleming finished.
Politics makes strange bedfellows is a saying as old as the hills. No stranger pairings in recent memory, than at the McCain funeral.
If Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney could next to each other, could there be hope for the divided nation, or Middle East peace?
Unclear. But the McCain-esque pairing of people who have never been close raised eyebrows.
The Democratic presidential nominee and Republican former vice president were among the luminaries and their spouses seated in the front row during McCain’s memorial service.
Clinton, of course, was there as the wife of former President Bill Clinton. Cheney was there because he had been Bush’s vice president. But at a service McCain designed to break down rivalries and encouraged civility, Clinton and Cheney, two of their parties’ sharpest partisans, drew stares.
No word on if the two shared any words — or candy.
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