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Bush 41 farewell
December 6, 2018

"There was no mistaking the odd man out," says The Associated Press. "The Washington funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush served as a rare reunion of the remaining members of the presidents club, but the front-row banter among Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter and their spouses came to an uneasy end when President Donald Trump and wife Melania arrived."

"Trump was in the company of all his living predecessors for the first time Wednesday, and the encounter was plainly uncomfortable," adds Philip Rucker at The Washington Post. "Since learning of Bush's death late Friday, Trump has striven to be magnanimous — to act, as he often boasts he could, 'presidential,'" and "he has refrained from publicly reacting to the nearly week-long celebration of Bush's life and its contrasts with Trump's." But when he sat down in his pew, his past actions hung chilly in the air, Rucker explains:

First was the president Trump said was illegitimate (Barack Obama); then the first lady he called a profligate spender of taxpayer dollars (Michelle Obama); then the president he called the worst abuser of women (Bill Clinton); then the first lady and secretary of state he said should be in jail (Hillary Clinton); and then the president he said was the second-worst behind Obama (Jimmy Carter) and his wife, Rosalynn. ... Hillary Clinton did not acknowledge the Trumps, keeping her gaze straight ahead as if determined not to make eye contact with the man who continues, two years after the 2016 election, to inspire "Lock her up!" chants at his rallies. [The Washington Post]

"It's unusual that a cabal of ex-presidents from both parties dislike a sitting president," presidential historian Douglas Brinkley told AP, "and that's what you've got happening right now." Peter Weber

December 5, 2018

President Trump has ordered the federal government to shut down Wednesday and declared a national day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at age 94. Trump will attend but not speak at Bush's funeral at Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday; Bush's son and fellow ex-president George W. Bush will give a eulogy, as will former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and presidential historian Jon Meacham.

After the funeral, Bush's body will be flown back to Houston, where it will lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church. Bush will be buried Thursday next to wife Barbara and daughter Robin in a family plot at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Among those who paid their respect to Bush on Tuesday were three fellow former CIA directors, his short-term service dog Sully, and former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), a fellow World War II veteran and onetime fierce political rival. You can watch Dole salute Bush's casket below. Peter Weber

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