No kumbaya moment at the National Cathedral in D.C. today as current and surviving presidents and their spouses shared the Awkward Pew during the state funeral of President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday.
President Barack Obama was seen smiling slightly, presumably at the uncomfortable-ness of getting elected to sit immediately next to the current First Family, who previously headed the birther conspiracy movement that declared Obama’s presidency to be illegal. It was Obama’s first encounter with President Donald Trump since the latter’s inauguration.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived after all the other presidents and wives were seated.
Melania served as buffer zone between Obama and Donald Trump; she shook hands with Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama and the 42nd President Bill Clinton. President Trump exerted himself to shake hands with the Obamas but no more, during which Michelle appeared to give him a “good morning” while she gave him a steely looking-over-her-lorgnette look. Michelle had flown back to Washington to attend the service; she is on tour promoting her book, Becoming, in which she writes that she will never forgive Donald Trump for the danger in which he put her family preaching his alt-right conspiracy theory.
As these painful greetings were taking place, Hillary Clinton nodded briefly in the direction of the First Family, then stared straight ahead, not acknowledging the Trumps further.
To the infinite relief of TV viewers who do not appreciate super-awkward moments, President George W. Bush and the rest of the Bush clan pulled up at the cathedral, and 43 walked in front of Awkward Pew, shaking hands with all the presidents and first ladies. That also included former POTUS 39 Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who mostly seemed to be left to themselves, mostly overlooked by Hillary Clinton, next to whom they sat.