Keller @ Large: Friendships Over Politics

BOSTON (CBS) –  There was a nice picture making the rounds the last few days of First Lady Michelle Obama greeting former President George W. Bush at the dedication ceremony for the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Instead of the usual D.C. handshake or air kiss, Mrs. Obama threw her arms around Bush in an affectionate hug, as he leaned his head on her shoulder.

Apparently, this is reflective of the genuine relationship between the Bushes and the Obamas, who were reportedly touched by the warm embrace they received from the Bushes during the presidential transition eight years ago. A similar story played out in the handover from Bush’s father to Bill Clinton, and the two men remained close.

Imagine that – two political foes, one having run on a platform shredding the record of the other, finding their common humanity and becoming friends.

That is the best in us, transcending politics.

I mention this because a new poll finds 70-percent of voters believe this presidential campaign has brought out the worst in people. By more than two-to-one they say the harsh language of this campaign is unjustified.

And judging from all the stories of people losing friends over their political differences in horrific Facebook flameouts, it’s all taking a toll.

But guess what: the poll found seven-percent of voters have lost or ended a friendship because of differences over this race. That may sound like a lot, but it’s consistent with past, somewhat less strident elections.

Could it be that most people value community, relationships and friendship over politics?

Once again, as with the Bushes and the Obamas, that is the best of us on display.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

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One Comment

  1. bees_knees_6 says:

    They all share a common thread…..they deeply care about this country. Those on the left will say the Bush’s didn’t care (particularly Jr.). Those on the right will say Clinton and Obama didn’t care (particularly Obama). Because a person has a different opinion, does not equate to not caring. Most believe that we do not have great candidates in 2016. Most with intelligence can see that Trump simply does not care about anyone other than himself….and perhaps white, wealthy, Christian men. This is another commonality shared by the Bushes and Obamas.

  2. The Owl says:

    The Bushes have always shown that they are decent people.

    As I recall, the Clinton people took all of the “W” keys from the White House keyboards when GWB was elected. That wasn’t exactly “decent” of them, now was it?

    It will be interesting to see if Trump wins whether or not Obama is a decent to his successor.

    It will also be interesting to see if Obama adopts the Bushes’ view that there is only ONE PRESIDENT at a time.

  3. The Owl says:

    A question if I might…Does Michelle play the piano? She surely has more than an octave of reach with those long and elegant fingers.

  4. mikey says:

    “In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem” ~ George Carlin

    A timeless observation for sure.

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