Former President George W. Bush playfully gave former First Lady Michelle Obama a piece of candy during Senator John McCain’s funeral – sending social media into meltdown.
During Joe Lieberman’s eulogy at McCain’s memorial service in Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, the television cameras captured the heartwarming moment.
While seated in the front pew, Bush was seen taking the piece of candy from his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush.
The 43rd president then discreetly handed it over to Obama, who was seated to his right.
The former first lady is seen telling him ‘Thank you’ as she accepted the candy while her husband, former President Barack Obama, looked on approvingly.
The tender moment inspired Twitter users who said it represented a time when civility was the norm in politics.
‘Seeing George Bush smuggle a piece of candy from his wife Laura to Michelle Obama while trying to be discreet gives me faith in the future of our Republic,’ tweeted one Twitter user.
‘The camera just cut away from Joe Lieberman’s joke about John McCain to Laura Bush just passing a hard church candy to Michelle Obama thru George Bush and it might be the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,’ tweeted Amee Vanderpool.
Another viewer observed: ‘George Bush sharing a mint with Michelle Obama is everything.’
‘I’d totally watch a travel show where George Bush and Michelle Obama go abroad and get up to wacky adventures,’ tweeted Ben Harris.
‘George Bush slipping candy to Michelle Obama is a sweet & hard metaphor for all we have lost in politics,’ tweeted Faith Salie.
The close friendship between the former president and the wife of his successor has played out in public on a few occasions.
Most memorably, the two were photographed as Michelle Obama embraced former President Bush during the inauguration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in September 2016.
The image went viral and is often considered the definitive snapshot of their relationship.
A few months earlier, Bush and Obama were seen holding hands and singing to one another during a memorial service for five slain police officers in Dallas.
Bush was evidently swinging his arms and appeared to be enjoying himself, prompting some to criticize him for not acting appropriately during a solemn occasion.
‘I can’t remember where else I’ve sat next to her, but I probably have a few wise cracks and she seemed to like it okay,’ says Bush.
When asked about the embrace in Washington, Bush said he and the former First Lady shared ‘a genuine expression of affection.’
Bush, 72, told People last year that he developed a lighthearted rapport with the 54-year-old former first lady, who took a liking to his sense of humor.
‘Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like,’ Bush told People.
‘I needle her a little bit and around her, I’m fairly lighthearted. [The Obamas] are around serious people all the time and we just took to each other.’
Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bush, once rivals of McCain, praised him in eulogies on Saturday and joined his daughter in subtle and not-so-subtle rebukes of President Donald Trump.
For years Trump feuded publicly with McCain and mocked his military service, continuing to knock him even after he grew ill.
The former Republican senator from Arizona died on August 25 from brain cancer, days shy of his 82nd birthday.
Trump, also a Republican, spent Saturday tweeting on other subjects and went to one of his private golf clubs in Virginia.
Nearly every major U.S. political leader attended the memorial service, and while Trump himself was absent, his presence was felt through the content of the tributes.
And by design, McCain asked Obama and Bush to deliver eulogies while the family made clear that Trump was not welcome