View Full Version : Great Article On Smile/Nod Laura's BS.

Gayle in MD
05-17-2010, 10:54 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <span style='font-size: 17pt'> Laura Bush The Real REason Behind Her One Demensional Lagacy </span>
Elenor Cliff

I admit to having a soft spot for Laura Bush, and I wasn't the only reporter in Washington who felt that way during her eight years as first lady. She got mostly favorable press, and her approval ratings remained high even as her husband's tanked. She was always so sedate and dignified that she provided a welcome contrast to her Texas cowboy husband.

There was evidence that she'd once been a Democrat, and rumors that she might be pro-choice, which made her hard to pigeonhole. But as the years went by, Laura Bush pigeonholed herself with her hyper-cautiousness about ever appearing to be at odds with her husband or the Republican Party about anything, and her unwillingness to engage with the media that she now says didn't understand her, and failed to sleuth out her many complicated facets.

On "Fox News Sunday," Laura Bush told moderator Chris Wallace that first ladies are often typecast by the media. "It's sad, really, and sort of frustrating that ... the press in general typecasts every woman that lives in the White House, the other first ladies, because always our first ladies have been a lot more interesting, a lot more complicated, than their box that they're sort of put in," she said.
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She blames this absence of nuance and depth of reporting on the liberal bias of the media as opposed to the fact that she behaved in the White House like a piece of fine furniture covered with plastic a first lady to admire but not to engage with.</span> The voters and the media were grateful for her presence in the testosterone-filled days after the 9/11 attacks when she let it be known that she had advised her husband to tone down his language and shelve the juvenile taunts of "Bring it on!"
<span style='font-size: 14pt'>But it was rare for Laura Bush to venture out of the box she seemed to have built for herself, and which she now blames the media for constructing.</span> At the time, she seemed to revel in the fact that she was no Hillary Clinton. She wouldn't have an office in the West Wing, and she wouldn't meddle in policy. She also seemed to be rebelling against another first lady, her mother-in-law, who enjoyed grabbing a headline or two when she was in the White House. Barbara Bush was known for being outspoken, once characterizing her husband's female opponent, Geraldine Ferraro, as "I can't say it, but it rhymes with rich."

<span style='font-size: 14pt'>The most daring thing Laura Bush did was to continue sneaking a smoke, something the allegedly liberal media whispered about but didn't publicize.</span> Now she tells us she's far more complicated than we realized, and I'm sure she's right. I got a glimmer of the Laura Bush I wish I had known better when she invited me to participate in the annual Book Festival she had started on the National Mall. It draws a 100,000 people to buy books and hear lectures, and in 2008 Mrs. Bush invited the 75 or so participating authors to breakfast at the White House. A librarian by training and an avid reader, I was told that the first lady personally made the selections.

My book, "Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics," recounts my husband's death at home with hospice at the same time of the frenzied debate over Terry Schiavo, a young woman who had been in a vegetative state for 15 years, and whose husband had won court approval to remove her feeding tube. <span style='font-size: 14pt'>The book offers an unvarnished look at how the Republicans, including President Bush, politicized what should be a very personal matter, family decisions about the end of life and the right to die.</span>I was amazed that the first lady welcomed me to the White House and complimented me on the book. It was a small thing, but as I watch Laura Bush now on the talk-show circuit selling her book, I realize that's probably what she means by complicated. If only she had been a little more public about herself, we the media might have picked up on her small rebellions. <span style='font-size: 14pt'>Her legacy would not be quite as one-dimensional as she apparently regrets it is, but whose fault is that?</span> </div></div>