On Tuesday evening, following the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush, Trump and Melania remembered her legacy in both a tweet and official White House statement. Earlier in the week, outlets reported Barbara was in failing health and had opted out of further medical treatment in favor of "comfort care" instead. Now, her lifetime achievements are being celebrated by a variety of high profile figures from both sides of the political aisle.
Though their statement is dated incorrectly as being written in 2017 rather than 2018, Trump and Melania's message seemed heartfelt. It described Barbara as an "advocate of the American family" and recognized her devotion to improving literacy as a "fundamental family value that requires nurturing and protection." It's worth noting that Barbara wouldn't have called herself a fan of Trump though. In fact, during an interview with CNN in 2016, she revealed she's "sick of" him. "I'm a woman," she said. "I'm not crazy about what he says about women."
In addition to Trump and Melania, Hillary and Bill Clinton also released a statement concerning the former first lady passing away, CBS News reported.
Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman. She had grit and grace, brains and beauty. She was fierce and feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes. She showed us what an honest, vibrant, full life looks like. Hillary and I mourn her passing and bless her memory.
And, as you might imagine, the Clintons and Trumps were far from the only ones to comment on Barbara's death at age 92. Obama and Michelle released a statement, also via Twitter, calling Barbara a "rock of the family" and showing gratitude for the "way she lived her life — as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit."
And it's absolutely true that Barbara's never-ending efforts to help more Americans become literate were nothing short of monumental. During a speech in 1990, reported CBS News, Barbara illustrated her passion when she said, "I honestly believe that if more people could read, write and comprehend, we would be that much closer to solving so many of the problems that plague our nation." While her husband, George, was president, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and decades later in 2017, it joined forces with multiple other organizations to form Voices for Literacy. According to the foundation, the group of organizations is "committed to expanding opportunities for children and adults to improve their lives through literacy." But Barbara's legacy doesn't end there.
The former first lady also drew awareness towards HIV/AIDS at a time when many Americans incorrectly believed it could be transmitted by touch. In 1989, in a moment CBS News noted helped "define" her contributions as first lady, she invited the press to join her as she visited babies with HIV and picked them up. A Washington Post article at the time characterized it in a headline as "The Hug That Says It All." "You can hug and pick up AIDS babies and people who have the HIV virus," The Post reported she said at the time. "There is a need for compassion."
On top of that, Barbara historically supported women's rights even if some of her beliefs clashed with the Republican Party her husband represented. The former first lady, for example, had always been pro-choice and kept supporting Planned Parenthood after her husband was elected to Congress, Rewire reported.
Political party aside, the current president, as well as past presidents and political figures, are praising her achievements and fieriness as an unforgettable figure in American history.