The funeral for civil rights leader Coretta Scott King on Tuesday was quite a sight to see. The depth of sadness in the room could not be overcome by the happiness that came with the celebration of her life and accomplishments. It was the measure of Mrs. King's impact upon our society that four presidents - Carter, Bush, Clinton and Bush - sat before her flower-draped casket and spoke of her life.
A good deal of the humbug arising from the political statements at the funeral are based upon the fact that George W. Bush changed his schedule to appear at the event. Because he did this, the thinking goes, he should be above the pointed criticism he absorbed up on that stage. Smart money says he came to the funeral only to avoid the criticism he would have received had he not shown up with those three other presidents. Smart money likewise says he came to try and shore up his poll numbers with African Americans; his support among this constituency stands in the low single digits, well within the margin of error in any poll, suggesting his actual support among this group is zero. This is, however, an issue for another day.