News & Politics

These Political Figures Are Mourning Aretha Franklin

Photograph by Flickr user Thomas Hawk.

Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin passed away Thursday morning. Provocative, innovative, and full of life, Franklin stretched her influence far and wide, including here in Washington. Current and former Beltway insiders paid their respects and shared some of their favorite moments on social media.

Bill Clinton issued a statement on behalf of himself and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo pointed out Franklin’s rigorous civil rights work:

Former White House photographer Pete Souza shared this simple photo:

Former Attorney General Eric Holder paid tribute to his “queen” in a multi-tweet thread:

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez will miss her timelessness:

And of course, it’s important to note her relationship to former President Barack Obama, who was once moved to tears by Franklin’s mighty rendition of Carole King‘s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Both the former president and Mrs. Obama issued this statement later Thursday morning:

According to pool reporters, President Trump offered “warmest best wishes and sympathies” to the family of Aretha Franklin at the top of a cabinet meeting, adding that her “legacy will thrive and inspire” generations to come. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly said a prayer in her honor.


Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.