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Michelle Obama on George W: 'I Love Him to Death'

Newser — Evann Gastaldo

Michelle Obama and George W. Bush have long had a special relationship, and at John McCain's funeral, a video of the former president handing the former first lady a cough drop as they sat next to one another in the crowd went viral.

Obama, appearing on TODAY Thursday, explained. "It was a simple gesture," she said. As Bush got out a cough drop for his wife, Laura, "I looked over and I said, 'Hand me a cough drop,'" and he did.

"President Bush and I, we are forever seatmates because of protocol. That's how we sit at all the official functions," she added. "He is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the 'formers' gather. So we're together all the time, and I love him to death. He's a wonderful man, he's a funny man."

She added that people are craving bipartisan moments like these: "That's what people are hungry for. ... Party doesn't separate us, color, gender, those kinds of things don't separate us. It's the messages that we send. If we're the adults and the leaders in the room and we're not showing that level of decency, we cannot expect our children to do the same. So that's what I think about, when I think about the gestures and the symbols and what our words mean and the impact that it has. I think about the next generation, every single time." As for the cough drop, it was pretty old, she noted.

The box had a White House logo on it, "And I was like, 'How long have you had these?'" Obama recalled. "He said, 'A long time; we've got a lot of these.'"

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