President Obama will skip former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral on Friday so he can appear at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Texas, the White House said Tuesday.
First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral to represent the president and also be one of the SXSW keynote speakers Wednesday.
In recent decades, presidents have not attended the funerals of former first ladies.
When First Lady Betty Ford died in 2011, 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.
Ex-First Lady Hillary Clinton will also attend Nancy Reagan’s funeral, her campaign said.
SXSW organizers said Obama will be interviewed at the conference on how tech companies can help solve the world’s problems.