Can a mint really be enough to break the political ice? Former President George W. Bush and Former First Lady Michelle Obama seem to think so.
It all started when Bush passed a mint to the former first lady during former U.S. Sen. John McCain’s funeral. And the tradition continue recently when he did it again at former president George H.W. Bush’s funeral.
“He has the presence of mind and the sense of humor to bring me a mint, and he made it a point to give me that mint right then and there, and that’s the beauty of George Bush,” Obama recently said in conversation at the SAP Center, according to an article in TIME Magazine.
Obama recently addressed the exchange in an interview with Bush’s daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, on NBC’s Today show.
“Because I think the political discourse, the way it’s shown in the media, is … all the nasty parts of it. You know? Because I guess we’ve become a culture where the nasty sells,” Obama said. “So people are just gonna keep feeding that. We’re all Americans. We all care about our family and our kids, and we’re trying to get ahead. And that’s how I feel about your father. You know? He’s a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man.”
And both times Bush handed Obama a mint, the internet got a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Brenna Williams, of CNN, tweeted,” I'd like to think that moments like this between W. Bush and Michelle Obama are what McCain was hoping for.”
While John Nichols, a writer for The Nation, tweeted, “George W. Bush sneaking a mint to Michelle Obama at John #McCainsFuneral can be read as as an indication that this divided land will again be touched 'by the better angels of our nature.'"
The country is clearly divided on most things right now, but it speaks to the power of simple sweets that passing a piece of candy can garner so much attention and so much delight across the country. And it’s at the heart of what makes the confectionery industry as sweet as it is — and, quite frankly, why it’s so important.
Because candy is so much more than candy. It’s a way to show love, express gratitude and foster connections. And it’s important to remember that as the war on sugar intensifies. After all, there are two things best served in moderation — candy and politics.