At Saturday’s memorial service for Sen. John McCain at Washington’s National Cathedral, two former presidents — and the men who blocked McCain’s path to the White House — delivered emotional and heartfelt eulogies for the fallen Republican lawmaker and war hero. And while their remarks were marked by reverence for McCain’s service and admiration for the man himself, there were also moments of levity and humor.
Such as former President Barack Obama noting that the Arizona senator ended up getting the “last laugh” with his request to have the 43rd and 44th presidents deliver kind remarks about him.
“He had no interest in conforming to some prepackaged version of what a senator should be and he didn’t want a memorial that was going to be prepackaged either,” Obama said. “It also showed John’s disdain for self-pity. He had been to hell and back and yet somehow never lost his energy or his optimism or his zest for life. So cancer did not scare him.”
After pointing out that McCain maintained his “buoyant spirit to the very end” and remained “fiercely devoted” to his friends and family, Obama brought up the Vietnam vet’s “irreverence” and “mischievous streak.”
“What better way to get a last laugh than make George [W. Bush] and I say nice things about him to a national audience,” the former POTUS joked, causing the gathered mourners to laugh while Bush nodded in agreement with Obama.
After the laughter died down, Obama added that McCain having his two former foes speak at his service “showed a largeness of spirit. an ability to see past differences in search of common ground.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.