The friendship between George W. Bush and the Obamas is getting ever closer.
On Saturday, Bush was captured sharing a viral moment of kinship with the president who succeeded him, with a viral video showing Bush giving Obama a slap on the butt after he finished speaking at the funeral for John McCain. The short moment of friendship between presidents found its way onto social media, with the short video clip shooting to the top of the link-sharing site Reddit and making the rounds on Twitter.
This was actually the second viral moment between George W. Bush and one of the Obamas. At the same ceremony, Bush gained attention for a sweet moment with Michelle Obama where he secretly passed her a piece of candy he’d gotten from his wife, Laura.
As People magazine noted, the candy-passing moment gained viral attention and to many signified the kind of bipartisanship that John McCain himself championed. McCain had personally asked both Bush and Obama to speak at his funeral.
Bush has opened up about the unlikely friendship, saying that he and the Obamas have developed a close friendship after previously having been political rivals. In his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama often pointed to Bush’s failures when calling on voters to take a new direction.
At McCain’s funeral, Bush said he went through the same process with the Arizona Senator.
“Back in the day he could frustrate me, and I know he’d say the same thing about me. But he also made me better,” Bush said in his eulogy of McCain, as reported by People, noting that their political rivalry didn’t last long after he took office.
George W. Bush slipped a piece of candy to Michelle Obama at McCain's funeral and the internet is glad https://t.co/AgefMuBoWj
— TIME (@TIME) September 1, 2018
“We sometimes talked of that intense period like football players remembering a big game. In the process, rivalry melted away. In the end I got to enjoy one of life’s great gifts: the friendship of John McCain. And I’ll miss him.”
George W. smacked Obama on the butt with a binder at McCain's funeral. I don't know what to do with this information, and now you don't, either. https://t.co/m4ZGkrOkPz
— Mike Elgan (@MikeElgan) September 2, 2018
Bush said his friendship with the Obamas grew pretty quickly after they learned that they appreciated his sense of humor.
“I can’t remember where else I’ve sat next to her, but I probably have a few wisecracks and she seemed to like it OK,” Bush told People Magazine. “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.”
The Obamas look anything but serious around friend George W. Bush, however.