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The memorial service for Sen. John McCain at the Washington National Cathedral was a disgusting display of partisan politics, with the Arizona senator’s daughter deriding President Trump as a coward not worthy of shining her father’s shoes.
Before that, the funeral of Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone turned into a partisan debacle, with Democrats turning the service into a anti-Republican hate-fest.
But that won’t happen at the memorial service for George H.W. Bush, scheduled for Wednesday. The family has already laid the groundwork to make sure the service does not become political, The Washington Post reported.
And unlike McCain’s service, the Bushes have made clear they want the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to attend.
The Bush family contacted the White House this past summer to say that President Trump would be welcome at the funeral, scheduled Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral, and to assure him that the focus would be on Bush’s life rather than their disagreements, one former administration official said.
The truce with Trump allows the Bush family, and the nation, to honor the legacy of a president who guided the United States through the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the breakup of the Soviet Union without becoming mired in today’s toxic politics. Trump in turn has been effusive in his praise of Bush since his death Friday, and paid respects Monday night at the U.S. Capitol, where the 41st president is lying in state.
Meanwhile, a former Bush associate told Politico that the service “will be about the celebration of the noble public service that George H.W. Bush gave. It’s not going to be about anybody else. I don’t think it’s going to be about Trump.”
“If anybody at anytime knew anything about the 41st president of the United States, they would completely and totally understand that he would welcome the current occupant 100 percent,” said an aide in the office of the former president. “This is the way the country says goodbye to presidents.”
Trump has bashed former president George W. Bush several times, and angered the family when he dubbed another Bush son “Low-Energy Jeb.” But he has already sought to defuse any tension, sending the presidential plane to Houston to bring Bush’s body to Washington, D.C., where the 41st president will lie in state at the Capitol until the Wednesday service. The White House has also made Blair House, the official guesthouse across the street from the White House, available for the Bush family to use during their time in the city.
Meanwhile, first lady Melania Trump, who represented the White House at former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral in April, invited George W. Bush’s wife Laura to the White House on Tuesday.
For his part, Trump said “President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life. Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!”
President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life. Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2018