Nancy Reagan: Obama will skip funeral for SXSW 2016 appearance
First lady Michelle Obama will be among the attendees at the funeral for Nancy Reagan on Friday, but President Barack Obama will not be joining her due to commitments at the South by Southwest Festival.
The president is scheduled to speak that day at SXSW, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Festival organizers previously announced that both of the Obamas would give speeches during the annual event in Austin, Texas. President Obama will kick off the 30th annual festival on Friday, marking the first time a sitting president will participate in the event. He is due to take part in a discussion on civic engagement with Evan Smith, editor in chief of The Texas Tribune, as a part of SXSW Interactive.
The first lady is also taking part in this year’s SXSW, but on a different day. She is scheduled to give the opening keynote address for SXSW Music on March 16 and will talk about her Let Girls Learn initiative.
Nancy Reagan died Sunday at the age of 94. Funeral services will take place Friday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
“Our former First Lady redefined the role in her time here. Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and the promise to improve and save lives,” the Obamas said of Nancy Reagan in a statement. “We offer our sincere condolences to their children, Patti, Ron, and Michael, and to their grandchildren. And we remain grateful for Nancy Reagan’s life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again.”