President Obama Headed to South by Southwest; Will Skip Nancy Reagan’s Funeral

Michelle Obama will attend the funeral on the president’s behalf. Historically, presidents have not attended the funerals of former first ladies, but current and former first ladies usually do.

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President Barack Obama will not be attending former first lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral on Friday because he was already scheduled to appear at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Texas.

According to the New York Post, first lady Michelle Obama is expected to attend the funeral on behalf of the Obamas and will also attend SXSW, where she is one of Wednesday’s keynote speakers.

Reagan, 94, died Saturday of congestive heart failure. She will be buried beside her husband, former President Ronald Reagan, NBC News notes.

The Post notes that historically, presidents have not attended the funerals of former first ladies, but current and former first ladies usually do.

In 2011, when Betty Ford died, “Rosalynn Carter, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Reagan all attended. Ex-President George W. Bush went because wife Laura had other travel plans. But Obama and former President Bill Clinton did not attend the funeral,” the Post reports.

Hillary Clinton is also expected to attend Nancy Reagan’s funeral, her campaign told the Post.

“Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House. She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice,” the Obamas said in a statement after her death, NBC News reports.

Read more at the New York Post and NBC News

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