On Saturday morning in the National Cathedral, McCain delivered a two edged oration, mostly devoted to expressing her love for her father but also taking a few pointed jabs at the president.
“We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness — the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served,” she said.
Later, the point was underscored with another rebuke to the Trumpian slogan “Make America Great Again”: “The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold. She is resourceful and confident and secure. She meets her responsibilities. She speaks quietly because she is strong. America does not boast because she has no need. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.”
Many of the mourners at the National Cathedral applauded, an unusual event at a funeral.
It was inevitable that John McCain’s funeral was going to be a political event. He was after all, a politician who died while still active and engaged in a highly visible feud with the president. As Atlantic writer David Frum notes, the entire staging of the funeral, which the late senator had a role in planning was meant as challenge to Trump.
Amid the stagecraft of the McCain funeral, there was no more dramatic moment than Meghan McCain’s remonstrance.