President and Mrs. Obama will be paying their respects to the late Justice Scalia on Friday, and Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will be attending the Justice's funeral on Saturday.
Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden will be the only couple from the White House at Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral Saturday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. While President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will "pay their respects" to Scalia as he lies in repose in the Supreme Court's Great Hall Friday, Earnest says they do not plan to attend the funeral.
"The president obviously believes it's important for the institution of the presidency to pay his respects to somebody who dedicated three decades of his life to the institution of the Supreme Court," Earnest said.Politico reports that the last time a Supreme Court member died in 2005, then-President George W. Bush both attended the funeral and gave a eulogy for Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
This is apparently enough to start WW III, as the Obama-shaming from the "liberal media" is coming fast and furious. The LA Times's Michael McGough:
Even if he doesn’t spend Saturday golfing — a scenario raised by a reporter at a White House press briefing — Obama's absence amounts to a slight to the court’s longest-serving member, a justice the president himself described as “one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the Supreme Court.”
It’s also is a dumb political move. By attending the funeral Obama would have underscored the importance of nonpartisanship when it comes to the court. That could only have helped him make the case that the Republican-controlled Senate has a duty to give fair consideration to the person he nominates to succeed Scalia.
WaPo's Philip Bump comes in with a passive-aggressive list of funerals President Obama has and has not attended.
In June, President Obama and Vice President Biden both attended the funeral service of South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston. It was the second time that month that the two men attended a funeral in the wake of a tragedy; the first was the service for Biden's son Beau.
How and when the president attends a funeral comes down to a number of factors: The person's importance to the country, the president's schedule and the significance of the event itself. Obama has frequently been criticized for the funerals he has missed, most notably including that of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
And MSNBC's Chris Hayes took his shot at the President on Twitter.
Some amazing advice my mom gave me once: "If you're wondering whether you should go to the funeral, you should go to the funeral."— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 17, 2016
I'm remembering the number of times Scalia simply skipped the President's State of the Union address (in 2013 he called President Obama's yearly address "a childish spectacle") and frankly, IU don't give a damn if the President attends or not.
The way this President has been treated by Scalia? Why does he have to put up with it?
Maybe it was a slight of the man.
Good. He didn't deserve respect. He was a goddamn monster.