Michelle Obama is close friends with former President George W. Bush, so it’s no surprise that the former First Lady is willing to delay her book tour to attend his father’s funeral.
America’s 41st president, George H.W. Bush passed away last Friday, and leaders around the world have been reacting to the news. Michelle Obama, the immediate past First Lady, also added her voice to the throng in a heartfelt note shared on social media.
Michelle posted on her Twitter and Instagram accounts:
“As a public servant, father, and grandfather, President George H.W. Bush was an extraordinary example for us all. His spirit of service and decency will be missed by many, including our family. I hope his memory will be a guiding light for our country and those around the world.”
The message was attached to a heartwarming photo of Michelle getting a kiss from the late Bush in his wheelchair. Her husband, former president Barack Obama, was also pictured nearby.
Michelle, who is currently on tour for her bestselling memoir, “Becoming” then explained in subsequent tweets that she'd have to miss some dates.
“It’s important to me to join the Bush family in celebrating President George H.W. Bush’s exemplary life,” she wrote. “This will, unfortunately, preclude my visits to Paris and Berlin. I’ve been deeply touched by the enthusiasm for my memoir, and I’m working to reschedule my trip for next year.”
The “Let’s Move!” initiator also appealed to fans that were expecting to see her in Paris and Berlin:
“I hope readers and ticket holders will understand my decision regarding my desire to attend President Bush’s funeral, and join me in paying tribute to him and his tremendous contributions to our world.”
Michelle and the late president’s son, George W. Bush, have a close friendship that is often scrutinized in the media, mainly because the former is a Democrat while the latter is Republican.
“America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude."
The junior George was famously caught slipping a cough mint to Michelle as their families attended Senator John McCain’s funeral in September, and last month, Michelle referred to George Jr. as a “beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man.”
She explained that even though they have different ideas about what’s best, it doesn’t make her “evil” neither does it make him “stupid.”
“America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude. Not merely for the years he spent as our forty-first President, but for the more than 70 years he spent in devoted service to the country he loved.”
President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, are among the many others that have sent in their tributes.
The body of Bush will arrive Washington today, accompanied by his service dog, Sully. There will be a lying-in-state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda till Wednesday.
On Thursday, there will be a memorial service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, and later that day, he will be laid to rest beside his wife at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas.