Political rivals and more: Perspectives on the McCain funeral from Virginia Tech expert Charles Walcott
U.S. presidents are often called on to take a lead role in honoring public figures at their funerals, even those who were one time political rivals.
August 28, 2018
U.S. presidents are often called on to take a lead role in honoring public figures at their funerals, even those who were one time political rivals. Charles Walcott, Virginia Tech professor emeritus of political science and an expert on the U.S. presidency is available to discuss the upcoming funeral of Senator John McCain.
Eulogies by Bush and Obama: “Bill Clinton eulogized Richard Nixon - so cross-partisanship isn't unprecedented - though Nixon and Clinton didn't run against each other. They did, however, have a good relationship. No president since World War II has been eulogized by an opponent, though the incumbent president has always been in attendance. I certainly don't know of anyone who has been eulogized by someone who beat him or her in an election.”
Trump being asked to stay away: “A president being asked to ‘stay away’ is almost unheard of. I'm pretty sure there hasn't been one. He was also quietly asked to avoid the Barbara Bush state funeral. Trump is, in this as in so many ways, singular.”
After John McCain: “For now, this is the end of an era. McCain seemed like somebody from another time in his willingness to cross the aisle to form coalitions and his willingness to go his own way, even in the face of opposition from his party's leaders. However, that doesn't mean that the spirit of compromise cannot be resurrected. We may see the dawning of a new era should the Democrats win the House in November.”
To secure a live or recorded interview with Walcott, contact Bill Foy by email, or by phone at 540-998-0288.
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