This week, the nation has mourned the death of the 41st president of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush. Every living former president and the current occupant of the White House, President Donald Trump, gathered at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to honor Bush.
While the media said the day was about honoring the 41st president, they could not help themselves and made the funeral about Trump, declaring that he does not fit in with the former presidents and compares unfavorably to George H.W. Bush. Every word spoken, every gesture made, everything that Trump did during the ceremony was picked apart and analyzed, mainly in a negative light.
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What did Trump do to make reporters focus on him? Did he insult Bush or a member his family? Did he make it about himself?
None of the above.
Instead, Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he was looking forward to meeting the Bush family in a celebration of the late president's life.
"Looking forward to being with the Bush family. This is not a funeral, this is a day of celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life. He will be missed!" Trump wrote.
Looking forward to being with the Bush family. This is not a funeral, this is a day of celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life. He will be missed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2018
Trump also visited former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush at the Blair House in Washington.
The 45th president then attended the ceremony at the National Cathedral, where he shook the younger Bush's hand, along with the hands of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle Obama. Trump did not shake former President Bill Clinton's hand or the hand of his opponent in the 2016 general election, Hillary Clinton. This scene inspired numerous takes and analysis about what it all meant.
Many media figures suggested Trump is so vain that, in his mind, he made the entire funeral procession about himself when the ceremony was not about him. Yet, these same voices argued, the funeral was actually a rebuke of Trump. They did not seem to realize that each statement contradicts the other.