There was one moment at former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral that marked an awkward break from the warmth and unity that has been largely present this week.
It came when the Trumps walked into the front pew at National Cathedral.
Several of the living former presidents and first ladies – spare former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura who arrived later ahead of the casket – had been sitting, chatting happily together in the cathedral’s prominent front pew.
Then first lady Melania and President Donald Trump came to join, and things appeared to get chillier.
Melania Trump shook former President Barack Obama’s hand, then that of former first lady Michelle Obama, and then Former President Bill Clinton before waving to former first lady Hillary Clinton and the Carters who were all seated too far for her to reach.
Once seated, President Trump shook the hand of his predecessor and then reached over Melania and former President Obama to shake the hand of Michelle Obama, who appeared to give something of a half smile and say “good morning” before leaning back.
Former President Bill Clinton looked over at the exchanges briefly. And Trump’s former rival, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, didn’t even appear to turn to her right to look at the Trumps.
The group then appeared to sit silently in the row for several minutes before the ceremony truly got underway.
Later, former President George W. Bush led his family’s delegation into the church and stopped to shake all of the former presidents’ and first ladies’ hands before rejoining his family on the other side of the aisle.