The National Cathedral funeral for former President George H.W. on Wednesday was not just tears and solemnity. There were laughs, too, as participants remembered the 94-year-old’s sense of humor during his four years in the Oval Office.
— POLITICO (@politico) December 5, 2018
Speaking at the front of the packed church, Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, whose term in office overlapped Bush’s, shared that “George Bush was a man of high accomplishment. He also had a delightful sense of humor and was a lot of fun.”
“At his first NATO meeting in Brussels, as the new American president…George was taking copious notes as the heads of government spoke,” Mulroney said. “You know, it’s very flattering to have the president of the United States take notes as you speak.”
“And even someone as modest as me threw in a few more adjectives here and there to extend the pleasure of the experience,” he continued as the crowd laughed.
“After [French] President Mitterrand, [British] Prime Minister Thatcher, and [German] Chancellor Kohl had spoken, it was the turn of the prime minister of Iceland, who as President Bush continued to write, went on and on and on and on, ending only when the secretary of NATO firmly decreed a coffee break,” Mulroney said as the audience expressed their amusement again.
“George put down his pen, walked over to me and said, ‘Brian, I’ve just learned the fundamental principle of international affairs.”
“I said, ‘What’s that, George?’” Mulroney recounted.
“He said, ‘The smaller the country, the longer the speech,” he concluded as the crowd roared with laughter.
“When George Bush was President of the United States of America, every single head of government in the world knew they were dealing with a gentleman, a genuine leader, one was that was established, resolute and brave,” Mulroney said at another part of his eulogy.
Former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney: "When George Bush was President of the United States of America, every single head of government in the world knew they were dealing with a gentleman, a genuine leader, one was that was established, resolute and brave.” https://t.co/kXhX8jinc8 pic.twitter.com/iyrFvo9sqZ
— CNN (@CNN) December 5, 2018
“I believe it will be said that in the life of this country … no occupant of the Oval Office was more courageous, more principled and more honorable than George Herbert Walker Bush,” he also said, interestingly enough right in front of four other former presidents.
Former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney: "I believe it will be said that in the life of this country … no occupant of the Oval Office was more courageous, more principled and more honorable than George Herbert Walker Bush" https://t.co/B25NLeMBxf #Remembering41 pic.twitter.com/YcNC0LOi39
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 5, 2018
President Trump and First Lady Melania, former President Obama and former First Lady Michelle, former President Clinton and former First Lady Hillary, and former President Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn were sitting in the front row.
Watch live coverage of the funeral below as it airs on Fox News: