When partisan battles have raged over the years in Washington, first ladies mostly have risen above the fray and managed bipartisan respect. During her life, Barbara Bush was no exception.
Yet after Barbara Bush passed away on Tuesday evening, many Republicans in Congress memorialized Bush with press releases and tweets, while Democrats were far more likely to mourn in silence. Congressional Republicans published five press releases for every one issued by Democrats. Republicans were twice as likely to tweet about it.
As of noon today, 90 members have issued press releases memorializing the former first lady. Of those, more than 83 percent — 75 press releases — are from Republicans. Only 14 Democrats, plus Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), have so far published official statements on Bush's death.
Republicans were also more likely to tweet about Bush, with 279 tweets and retweets to official and campaign accounts since her passing. Democratic members have posted 157 tweets, plus one tweet each from the independent Sens. King and Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
A LegiStorm analysis found similar partisan divides following the 2015 death of Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.), when Republicans issued three times the number of press releases compared to Democrats, and the 2013 death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), when Democrats published nearly twice as many as Republicans.