Sen. John McCain‘s Washington, D.C. funeral was a bipartisan affair, bringing together politicians on both sides of the aisle — including McCain’s previous presidential opponents, former President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush who both gave a touching eulogies.
But among the emotional words shared and the tears shed was one sweet moment between Bush and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
During former Sen. Joe Lieberman’s eulogy to his longtime friend, cameras caught the 43rd president grabbing a piece of candy (or a mint) from his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, and passing it to Ms. Obama.
She was grateful for the treat, mouthing the words “thank you” to the Bushes with a smile.
The kind gesture became on of the viral moments of the funeral, which took place at the Washington National Cathedral.
It was spread on social media, one user explaining, “I’d like to think that moments like this between W. Bush and Michelle Obama are what McCain was hoping for.”
“George W. Bush sneaking a piece of candy to Michelle Obama is warming my heart,” said another.
McCain asked both Bush and Obama to give eulogies at his funeral, something they both joked about considering they they has bested him in elections (Bush in the 2000 Republican primary and Obama in the 2008 presidential election).
“Back in the day he could frustrate me, and I know he’d say the same thing about me. But he also made me better,” Bush remarked, adding that “in recent years” their “rivalry melted away.”
“We sometimes talked of that intense period like football players remembering a big game. In the process, rivalry melted away. In the end I got to enjoy one of life’s great gifts: the friendship of John McCain. And I’ll miss him,” the former president added.
Following Bush’s remarks, Obama opened up about how the pair’s differing opinions, which “were often deep,” didn’t get in the way of their respect for each other.
“We talked about policy, and we talked about family, and we talked about the state of our politics. And our disagreements didn’t go away during these private conversations. Those were real, they were often deep. But we enjoyed the time we shared away from the bright lights,” he said.
“We laughed with each other and we learned from each other,” Obama continued, adding that the pair “never doubted” that “when all was said and done we were on the same team.”
The event marked the end of a five-day, cross-country procession from Arizona that culminated in memorial services at the U.S. Capitol on Friday morning.
The late senator and war hero will be buried in the cemetery at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, after a private memorial service.