Some pundits viewed President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump sharing a row with the Obamas, Clintons, and Carters at George H.W. Bush’s funeral on Wednesday as a moment of rare bipartisan civility in a deeply divided America. Fox News host Chris Wallace saw something different.
“Well, I have to say I was struck when President Trump and Melania Trump came to the front row that it was as if a chill had descended on that front row,” Wallace remarked during Fox’s live coverage. “You had seen a lot of chatty talk between the Clintons and the Obamas, the Carters. But when Donald Trump sat down, the greeting that he was given by Barack Obama and Michelle Obama was about as cold, about as cool as it could have been.”
After a brief “good morning” was exchanged, Wallace noted that “they all stopped talking to each other.” He agreed that their presence together reflected “the greatness of America.” But he added, “There also is a reality and there are some ill feelings among some of the people in the front row.”
“And I have to say that where you usually have a presidents club and people that ran against and maybe one beat the other,” he continued, “that doesn’t seem to have extended to President Trump when you see them sitting in that front row.”
The contrast between the “cold” way the Trumps were received and the warm relationships between the former first families seemed to continue throughout the service. Michelle Obama could be seen squeezing Bill Clinton’s arm and when George W. Bush greeted her, he was spotted passing her a candy, an echo of their similar exchange during Sen. John McCain’s funeral.
At least President Trump was invited to this one.