Thanks but no thanks
For the first time in decades, the sitting president won't eulogize a former president
President Trump will be attending the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, but don't expect to hear from him.
Although Trump was invited to the memorial service on Wednesday, he won't be delivering a eulogy, The New York Times and CNN report. Typically, the sitting president would speak at the funeral of his predecessor, but the Times writes that this is "seemingly a compromise intended to respect tradition while avoiding an awkward moment given the animosity between the current president and the Bush family."
During his campaign, Trump mocked the 41st president's phrase "a thousands points of light," asking, "What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out?" Bush in a 2017 book called Trump a "blowhard" and said he voted for Hillary Clinton, per BBC News.
Former President George W. Bush will speak at the funeral service, which is set to include several other speakers like historian Jon Meacham. But CNN reports that Trump not speaking may have less to do with the family's rocky history with him and more to do with the fact that they're in the unique position of having Bush's son be a former president himself, so he's filling the presidential eulogizer role that would normally go to Trump. Sources also told CNN that plans for the funeral were put in place before Trump was elected.
The Los Angeles Times' Noah Bierman points out that this will be the first time since 1973 that a sitting president hasn't eulogized his predecessor. George W. Bush spoke at Gerald Ford's funeral in 2007, and before that, he spoke at Ronald Reagan's funeral in 2004, and Bill Clinton spoke at Richard Nixon's funeral in 1994.