George HW Bush’s funeral had some awkward moments
They were there to mourn a late president.
In a service at the Washington National Cathedral, George HW Bush was remembered for his service to the United States, his politeness and his moderation.
But for three ex-presidents — and the current one — sitting in the front row, the ceremony was not without its awkward moments. Here are some of the highlights:
Presidents from both sides of the political divide sat together in the same pew
The current and former US presidents listen as George W Bush speaks. (Reuters: Kevin Lamarque)
In the front row sat all the surviving current and former US presidents — including Donald Trump and First Lady Melania, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary and Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn.
The moment caught the eyes of the world, not only for its rarity but also for its apparent tension.
This was the first interaction between Donald Trump and the other presidents, who he’s criticised at one point or another, since Inauguration Day. So how would they be received?
For the most part, it was all civility as the front row put political differences aside to remember a Cold War veteran.
The casket of George HW Bush is carried past former US presidents and a current one. (Reuters: Kevin Lamarque)
Mr Trump shook hands with former president Barack Obama and there was even a moment where former first lady Michelle Obama leaned over to pat Mr Clinton on the arm as he wiped away tears during the eulogy.
While Clinton did her best to ignore Trump
Despite shaking hands with his predecessor, Mr Trump didn’t extend his hand to the other former presidents and first ladies.
That included his former opponent, Mrs Clinton, who for her part stared straight ahead and made no movement to greet the President as he sat down.
I wish I could commit to anything as hard as Hillary Clinton commits herself to not making eye contact with Donald Trump
Mr Clinton looked over with a smile but Mr Trump made no eye contact with the couple.
The Trump-Michelle Obama handshake raised eyebrows
For many, the handshake between Mr Trump and Ms Obama proved uncomfortable viewing in light of her recent comments about the President.
In her memoir, Ms Obama wrote that the birther conspiracy theory pushed by Mr Trump — which falsely claimed Barack Obama was not born in the US — was something she would never forgive him for.
The handshake was a stark comparison to the one between Ms Obama and Mr Obama’s predecessor, George W Bush.
And Bush and Michelle Obama shared a sweet moment
Then there was this exchange between Mr Bush and Michelle Obama when he came over to greet the presidents.
Mr Bush is seen reaching into his pocket and giving something to Ms Obama. It had the whole world guessing what it was:
did catch Mr Bush take something from his pocket and give to @MichelleObama ? What was it?
The prevailing theory is that it was a lolly. He reportedly did the same thing at John McCain’s funeral.
The candy pass between Michelle Obama and George W. Bush, mirroring the one that warmed our hearts during the funeral of John McCain