The White House announced on Wednesday that neither President Barack Obama nor first lady Michelle Obama will be attending the funeral of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. While Justice Scalia’s funeral apparently doesn’t warrant Obama’s presence, here are six funerals that did.
- Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Less than two months before the 2012 election, both Obamas took time out of their schedule to attend the funeral of Senator Inouye. President Obama openly wept over the liberal senator.
- Hadiya Pendleton
Three days before his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama sent Michelle on his behalf to the funeral of 15 year-old shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton. Obama’s decision to send Michelle to the Chicago teen’s funeral set the stage for his SOTU address, in which he called for further gun control restrictions.
- Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Despite Robert Byrd’s well-known ties to the Ku Klux Klan, President Obama attended the Democratic senator’s funeral. Obama gave a speech at the ceremony and called the late senator his friend.
- Reverend Clementa Pinckney
Reverend Pinckney, who also served as a South Carolina state senator, was one of the nine people killed in the Charleston shooting last summer. Despite never having met Pinckney, President Obama delivered his eulogy.
- Former Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley
Just six months after snubbing the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, President Obama attended the funeral of former Democratic Speaker of the House Tom Foley. As he tends to do when actually attending funerals, Obama delivered a speech.
- Walter Cronkite
When the legendary newscaster passed away in September 2009, President Obama found room in his schedule to travel to New York for the memorial service. Once again, Obama gave a speech at the service. He had openly admitted that he never met Cronkite.
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