Skip to comments.Laura Bush was no 'quiet' first lady
Posted on 05/11/2009 7:12:34 PM PDT by STARWISE
POLITICO recently ran a story about the moments that shaped first lady Michelle Obamas image. I like seeing so much attention paid to a first lady, and I think Americans enjoy knowing what she is working on and how she is spending her time in the White House. The coverage is helpful for all of us to develop an impression about the first lady. And surely there has been no shortage of coverage.
I know firsthand what it takes to manage the diverse portfolio of this unique position, which in fact has no official description. The job is what the occupant makes of it, and a first lady can be very effective when she chooses to focus on projects in which she has genuine interest and experience. She is freed from the demands and constant flow of incoming problems that hit the presidents desk, and she can choose how to spend her time and deploy her influence.
Nevertheless, her efforts, when coordinated wisely with the presidents staff, are helpful to the overall goals of the administration. As the most prominent nonelected official in our government, she has an instant platform and access to whatever she needs to do her job.
Each first lady makes her mark, and Obama follows a long line of activist first ladies who have come before her and advocated for things they care about.
My hat is off to Obama and to her staff, too. I know how hard they have to work to make sure a project is well-developed and researched. There are many moving parts when executing a successful event that is worthy of the first ladys attention and has a positive and lasting impact. With this work also comes the responsibility to follow up and consistently manage projects such that they amount to more than a photo-op. Although the first lady gives the direction and makes the final decisions on what she wants to do, its her hardworking and creative staff that has to pull it all together.
In the end, if the media dont report it or write about it, then much of this hard work will have been lost for so many that could have benefited from the first ladys efforts. It also means that people worldwide have missed the chance to better understand what makes the first lady tick.
Perhaps if the press gave half as much attention to Laura Bushs work, the POLITICO article would not have used phrases like, Americans see [Mrs.] Obama as strong, elegant and confident different from [Mrs.] Bush, who was seen as conservative and quiet.
In all fairness, I dont think it was quiet when, in 2001, Bush became the first first lady to deliver a presidential radio address, speaking out forcefully about the Talibans brutal treatment and oppression of Afghan women. She had a worldwide audience, and to this day, Afghan women know that in Laura Bush they have a steady and committed champion.
I also dont think it was quiet when in May 2008 she became the first first lady to stand at the podium in the White House press briefing room and deliver a strong statement against the repressive military regime in Myanmar. She told the regime it was time to get out of the way after the world saw it inexplicably deny aid to the Myanmar people in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis.
It also wasnt quiet when Bush spoke out in defense of Obama when the then-presidential candidates wife said, For the first time, I am proud of my country. A feeding frenzy followed in our nation, and it was Bush who knocked it down. Her support came at a time in the campaign when people were first forming their impressions of the Obamas and were easily susceptible to inaccurate representations. Laura Bush took the responsible route and defended Obama and her unfortunate choice of words, and in so doing, she lowered the heat.
I would suggest then that in researching its story about the moments that defined Michelle Obama, POLITICO missed a big one. That moment was perhaps the greatest moment of vulnerability for the campaign. And that honorable and courageous move by Laura Bush had a significant role in shaping the image of the first lady to be.
Obama later wrote Bush a note of thanks. She also talked on The View about how much it meant to her to have Bush speak out in her defense. I think Obama understood the impact of that moment on her image better than the press does.
Anita McBride served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and was chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush from 2005 to 2009.
Laura exudes class.
It sickens me that we even have the opportunity to compare the two.
Ah, such lovely pictures of Lady Laura.
Lovely Laura. I miss her.
It's a dumb tactic, because Laura was the most popular First Lady in memory, and Michelle and her band of followers would do well to respect her, and not falsely characterize what Laura did.
Michelle , as you said, STARWISE, will never measure up to Laura Bush.
I surely miss First LADY Laura Bush!!!
Her predecessor and successor have no idea what the word LADY truly means...nor do they care.
One difference between Michelle Mabelle and the lovely Laura is that the lovely Laura was never in IT for herself. Michelle is an opportunist. Her position at the University of Chicago Hospital and Clinics (incidentally, where I did my training) was never filled. Michelle was really important to the work done there, no?
Everyone knows Angry Michelle can put out more cigarettes in her hand than Laura.
Pray for America
MO is typical.
They still pull out the drunk driving lie.
Amen to that Star! No comparison whatever!
Yes, I miss her so much. Never once did she do or say anything that was anything but gracious and respectable. She was and is pure class in her demeanor, speech, and appearance. We were blessed to have her represent us for 8 years.
Contrast this with what we have now.
Thank you for the lovely photos. She was/is a doll. I hope they are enjoying their peaceful retirement and all life has to offer.
Laura Bush is an aristocrat.
She did not relate to ordinary people.
Her genuine compassion for people compensated for that.
Michele is a common haughty, bwitch with no style or substance. She could care less about anyone but herself.
Michelle OBAMA Hussein is a classless, socialist, big mouth, with no charisma or character..
While Laura Bush exudes class and patriotism...big difference, can't lump em together..
“Laura Bush is an aristocrat.
She did not relate to ordinary people.”
As so many others, I surely miss First Lady, Laura Bush. The current female spouse in the White House is simply the president’s wife. I will not call her First LADY. because a LADY she is not. I am surprised the liberals even allow the term “Lady” to be used. Like mailman, councilman, etc. they will soon be screaming that the gender should be removed. For me, it can’t be too soon. I would love to call Michelle the First (in)Significant Other.
Absolutely correct! I miss her and the President so much.
Laura is pure class and a quality human being. They have to make things up to diss her.
How is that an "aristocrat?"
I sure miss First Lady Laura Bush
Sad, but true!....Oh...what a train wreck now.
“Laura Bush is an aristocrat. She did not relate to ordinary people.”
Quite true, but still better than MO.
Yet, I am quite sick of all the Bushes and the damage they did to America. So, in my opinion it might be best to keep them out of sight until the viewpoint of them can be somewhat “rehabilitated.”
Let alone Laura ability to help educate all and her manner of relating to people.
Obama doesn’t even leave a fly speck on the paper compared to the impact of Laura Bush.
As for keeping Laura "out of sight".......or her husband........they have been greeted with grand ovations and warm embraces wherever they have gone. Their image only needs to be "rehabilitated" for those who weren't paying very close attention to who they really were, and what they really did.
When confronted with a bogus criticism of the Bushes, it's always good to have an arsenal of photos to combat it with.
Laura may be classy and a bit shy, but saying she doesn't relate to "ordinary people" is just silly.
She IS "ordinary people."
One thing is for sure, if the Bush’s did damage to America, it certainly took a lot longer than 100 days to do it.
Look at what you got - see Obama run, see Obama screw up the military, watch Obama turn America into a classless pile of junk.
It's rewarding to know because of HIS policies, we're all still alive and reading your rant. The damage to America you speak of has yet to be defined. The present occupant is weaving a scenario unlike anything we could ever imagine and I'm convinced in the not too distant future most clear thinking Americans will long for the days of the Bush Admin.
OMG FRiend — this place hasn’t been the same without your wonderful graphics.
Thank you Star...missed being here
Excuse me Moe, but I'd rather have Bush in power any day of the week, then this socialist, extortionist, liar, cheat and communist KING OBAMA. You can say all you want about Bush, but one thing you have to admit, he kept us safe through his 2 terms, because the "MODERATE" Taliban were scared of him. He did not have an "Appeasment" policy as Clinton and now NOBAMA...
This whole thing with the oil and the prices all started when Congress became Pelosi empowered...Look at the stats, you'll see this is 100% correct. Grrrrrrr if anything we should all appreciate Bush's terms because now we are being bombarded by a bunch of socialism and WORLD GOVERNMENT. So stop blaming Bush..we're all sick of it...
I am 100% with you on Bush, delusional Bush-bots gave us Obama/Pelosi and destroyed conservatism +capitalism brand .
Safe from...the hordes of illegal aliens streaming across the southern border?
Oh, wait! Bush wanted to offer them all amnesty and even reward them with U.S. citizenship.
As of 2006
Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegal aliens. That's 21,900 since Sept. 11, 2001...While King reports 12 Americans are murdered daily by illegal aliens, he says 13 are killed by drunk illegal alien drivers for another annual death toll of 4,745. That's 23,725 since Sept. 11, 2001. (source)
Wanna tell all those dead Americans and lawfully-present foreign nationals how Bush "kept [them] safe"?
Maybe you can tell that to Marine Cpl. Brian Matthews, who was killed by an illegal alien drunk driver in the Maryland suburbs of Washington while home for the holidays in November 2006 (source).
Per Marine Cpl. Garrett Farris, one of Cpl. Matthews' fellow Marines:
"A guy goes to war and has no problems with that. He comes back to the States, and it's supposed to be our safe place."
If Bush was really serious about "keeping us safe," he would have ENFORCED THE LAW and actually DEFENDED OUR SOUTHERN BORDER. Instead, he chose to sit on his hands, like many of his predecessors. Unlike his predecessors, however, he championed MASS AMNESTY replete with rewards like U.S. CITIZENSHIP and THE DREAM ACT, which would have granted illegal alien foreign nationals access to the U.S. financial aid system, in-state tuition at public colleges, and preferential admissions (e.g., affirmative action) ahead of lawfully-present foreign nationals and U.S. citizens.
But hey, Big Business needed its cheap labor. How else do you think they were able to build all those homes which were bought on cheap credit and later bailed out by Bush and Paulson?
appreciate Bush's terms because now we are being bombarded by a bunch of socialism
Socialism...like TARP? The original bailouts and stimulus packages were spearheaded by Bush and Paulson.
Or Medicare Part D. Passed by Bush and a Republican Congress.
And "No Child Left Behind"? The PATRIOT Act? More gross and unconstitutional expansions of Federal power and spending.
You want Socialism and centralized Government? Bush and the Republicans ran like conservatives, but when they got into Washington, ruled like Socialists. Ruled, not governed.
Sadly GWB ruled like a socialist prior to 2004 election, then ran as a conservative in that election, so called conservatives rallied around him(tax cuts yes!!! who cares about spending??) , after winning he quadrupled the socialism each year, and then the act was repeated with McCain in 2008, claiming he was the real Reagan conservative. And conservatives rallied again around McCain. Oh I forgot, Palin was the real candidate not Mccain.
It is obvious you are either a NOBAMA fan or you're having a BAD HAIR DAY, because you would have realized how much better we had it under Bush with all his faults, but your fake conservative BS is sickening.
Don't you ever talk to me again in such a demeaning manner, I find your post offensive and you are nothing but a phony. Take your make believe outrage to DU or someone who cares..Member since 2006...Hahhhhhhhhhh
Sadly rabscuttle385 is definately a little “Emotional”....and needs to take a chill pill...;)
Laura Bush never tried to use the White House to her own personal advantage, and that seems to be a novelty for first ladies now.
I know about dead Americans...I was there on 9/11...a cop based out of NYC...I wasn't referring to illegal immigration or anything even close to that...so, get off your high horse and have your reading comprehension checked.
That wasn't the point nor was that brought up by me in any post, because I know more then you think..
Where is the blame on PELOSI and her posse? Bush was forced to alter his agenda when the Congress became PELOSILAND.....you don't think she manipulated anything?
Now tell your story walkin..