By Eliza Relman
Former President George W. Bush appeared to pass former First Lady Michelle Obama a mint as they greeted each other — a nod to a similar gesture between the two that went viral earlier this year — at former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral at the Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday.
The two have a surprisingly warm friendship, especially for a pair who hold different worldviews in a time of deep partisan and cultural divisions, and Obama has called the former president a “beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man” and her “partner-in-crime” at official events, where the two often sit next to each other.
The gesture on Wednesday appeared to mimic the moment when Bush was caught on camera passing Obama a cough drop during Sen. John McCain’s funeral service at the Cathedral in September.
A clip of Obama mouthing “thank you” as Bush passed her the cough drop while Sen. Joe Lieberman delivered his eulogy went viral online — and became a symbol of bipartisanship and human decency at a time of deep political and cultural division.
Obama later said the gesture may have struck a chord because people are “hungry” for leaders who can rise above the political fray.
“Party doesn’t separate us. Color, gender — those kinds of things don’t separate us. It’s the messages that we send,” Obama told NBC News. “If we’re the adults and the leaders in the room and we’re not showing that level of decency, we cannot expect our children to do the same.”
The two have a friendship stretching back to former President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
“She kind of likes my sense of humor,” Bush told People magazine George W. Bush Appeared to Pass Michelle Obama a Mint (Again!) at His Father’s Funeral Servicelast year. “Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like.”
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Originally published on Business Insider.
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