Donald J. Trump will get criticized if he doesn’t attend former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral.
He’ll get criticized if he shows up in Houston this weekend.
For what it’s worth — and it’s not much, I’ll concede — I want to counsel the president to stay away.
Look at it this way: Mrs. Bush made no bones about her dislike and disgust at Trump. She didn’t like the way he treated women. She damn sure didn’t like the way he treated her two sons — Jeb, who ran against Trump in the 2016 GOP presidential primary, and George W., who drew Trump’s ire over the Iraq War.
Trump has said the correct things about Mrs. Bush. I watched him read his statement and was struck yet again by the feeling in my gut that he didn’t really feel it.
First lady Melania Trump is going to attend, which is customary for first ladies; they usually attend funerals for their predecessors. Michelle Obama attended the funeral for Nancy Reagan, for example.
Donald Trump is facing a couple of difficult choices here. He need not accompany his wife to the funeral of a woman who couldn’t stand him.
He’s already spoken of Barbara Bush’s toughness. There you have it.
Stay away, Mr. President. Let the first lady represent the government.
Here is what I wrote about whether Barack Obama should have attended Mrs. Reagan’s funeral.