Ge­orge W. Bush shares laugh, cough drop (?) with Michelle Obama

The Dallas Morning News - - Front Page - By TOM BEN­NING Wash­ing­ton Bu­reau tben­[email protected]­las­ Twit­ter: @tomben­ning

shares a sweet laugh with Michelle Obama.

WASH­ING­TON — Be­fore tak­ing a seat at his fa­ther’s fu­neral Wed­nes­day at Wash­ing­ton Na­tional Cathe­dral, for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush made sure to shake the hands of all the U.S. pres­i­dents and first ladies, cur­rent and for­mer, in at­ten­dance.

He saved some­thing spe­cial for for­mer first lady Michelle Obama.

Bush ap­peared to hand Obama some­thing small — caus­ing her to chuckle — in what was al­most cer­tainly a call back to when TV cam­eras picked up the for­mer pres­i­dent slip­ping her a cough drop at the Septem­ber fu­neral of for­mer Ari­zona Sen. John Mccain.

That ear­lier ex­change went vi­ral on­line as ob­servers mar­veled at the un­var­nished and funny bit of bi­par­ti­san­ship.

Whether the lat­est gift in­ volved a cough drop, a candy or some­thing else, the friendly prank likely would’ve been ap­pre­ci­ated by for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush, who was re­mem­bered at his fu­neral Wed­nes­day for a funlov­ing spirit and a keen sense of hu­mor.

“He loved to laugh, es­pe­cially at him­self,” the younger Bush said later in his eu­logy, not­ing that his dad “had a cir­cle of friends with whom he shared or re­ceived the lat­est jokes.”

“He could tease and nee­dle, but never out of mal­ice. He placed great value on a good joke.”

The laughs Wed­nes­day be­tween the younger Bush and Obama also fur­ther high­lighted the duo’s bud­ding friend­ship.

Obama has ex­plained that she and Bush are “for­ever seat­mates” at events that bring to­gether all the for­mer pres­i­dents and first ladies. That’s be­cause pro­to­col says the seat­ing or­der goes in cou­ ples, from the most re­cent White House in­hab­i­tants on down the list.

“He’s my part­ner in crime at ev­ery ma­jor thing where all the ‘for­m­ers’ gather,” Obama told NBC’S To­day show in Oc­to­ber, re­call­ing that the ini­tial cough drop ex­change came after she saw Laura Bush give Ge­orge W. Bush one. “I love him to death. He’s a won­der­ful man. He’s a funny man.”

For­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush slipped some­thing to for­mer first lady Michelle Obama that elicited a laugh as he greeted the cur­rent and for­mer first cou­ples at his fa­ther’s fu­neral.

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