South Boston paid its final respects Friday to long-time Democratic Rep. John Joseph Moakley at a funeral that drew the country's political elite, including President Bush and his predecessor, Bill Clinton.
Bush and Clinton sat in the same pew along with the man Bush defeated in last year's election, former Vice President Al Gore, during the funeral Mass at St. Brigid Church. Bush and Clinton shook hands after the service.
Moakley died Monday at age 74 of leukemia.
"He lived his entire life on this peninsula," University of Massachusetts President William Bulger said during his eulogy of his childhood friend. "It was here in this place where his character was shaped. Joe had become in his lifetime the personification of all that was good in his town."
Moakley chaired the powerful House Rules Committee from 1989 to 1995. When he died, he was the panel's highest-ranking Democrat.