November 30th, 2008
03:03 PM ET
5 months ago

Laura Bush describes post-White House plans

First Lady Laura Bush.
First Lady Laura Bush.

(CNN) - First lady Laura Bush said Sunday she plans to continue working to advance the position of women in Afghanistan after her husband's time in office ends in January.

In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Mrs. Bush also offered her take on the recent U.S. election, her first impressions of President-elect Barack Obama and incoming first lady Michelle Obama, and what she'll miss most.

When President Bush spoke Tuesday at Fort Campbell, he said he will miss most "spending time with men and women who have volunteered to serve the United States of America."

That speech "made me weep," Laura Bush told NBC.

"I'll miss being with the military, too, and that's one of the things about Camp David that we liked so much, and that's going to church at Camp David with the people who are posted there... I'll miss a lot of things. I'll miss all the people that are around us all the time," she said. "From the ushers and the butlers who are there for every president and have been there four or five administrations, to our own staff, of course, that we love to laugh with and talk with and solve problems with. And so I'll miss the people the most."

She said she and her husband plan to spend their weeks in Dallas and weekends at their ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The first lady said she hopes to maintain her involvement with the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, which works to improve life for women in Afghanistan. Established in 2002 by President Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the organization has now moved from the U.S. State Department to
Georgetown University.

Also, President Bush "is going to build a freedom institute with his presidential library and museum at SMU (Southern Methodist University) in Dallas, and that'll be a really good vehicle, I think, for me to continue to work with, especially, women and children in Afghanistan," Mrs. Bush said.

When she welcomed Michelle Obama for a visit at the White House recently, Laura Bush said, "the main point I wanted to say to her is that this is - the White House is a home, and it can be a very happy home for her and for her children and her husband, and it certainly has been for us."

Mrs. Bush said she expects the media to "defer to all common sense" in terms of sparing the Obamas' children - Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7 - the glare of the spotlight, as they largely did for her children. "I appreciate the way most of the press let Barbara and Jenna make all the mistakes of growing up out
of the limelight."

The first lady said she first met Barack and Michelle Obama at a gathering of freshmen senators. Asked Sunday whether she saw in them a prospective president and first lady, she responded, "Well, I don't know if I would say that, but I certainly saw somebody who was very ambitious and accomplished in both of them."

Asked about the election, she called it "a major, historical event for the United States. And I think that's very good."

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    The first time I saw and heard Obama speak I KNEW he would be president one day.

    Laura Bush must not have seen Obama give his speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004. That was before she met him when he became a U.S. Senator. Anyone that saw that speech would have known that he was a great man and would be president some day.

    November 30, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Texas Teacher

    ".... certainly saw somebody who was very ambitious and accomplished in both of them"

    Hmmm.... why does this sound a tiny bit malicious? Or is it just me? I have always thought that both Mrs. Bushs were gracious ladies. But like most southern belles, they do appear gracious.... but you sense a certain "steel magnolia" quality in them both. That can be taken either way.....

    It must have taken a bit of "ambition and accomplishment" in both of them to have married the men they married... and then stayed with them despite all.

    Enough said... :)

    November 30, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Simmy

    Sounds like the good life! I only wish you the best, and a lot of rest!

    You have been a very gracious First Lady! Thank you!

    November 30, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. chuck

    The bushes can kiss my – – -. They were TOTAL DESTRUCTION,TOTAL FRUSTRATION, AND TOTAL FAILURE.

    November 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. George Arlington, TX.

    She should teach her husband how to speak proper english. Her english is fine , just a little Texas accent..

    November 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. Bily the Milkman and Nightime Lover from Ohio

    PLEASE GO BACK TO YOUR RANCH. AND GET READY FOR WHEN YOUR HUSBAND IS SEND TO THE HAGUE FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.
    YOU HAD THE TERRIBLE LUCK OF BEEN MARRY TO THE WORSE , AND MOST HATE, PRESIDENT OF ALL TIME. A TOTAL DISGRACE FOR OUR NATION AND OUR WORLD. THANKS TO HIS LIES, INVASION OF IRAQ AND OVER 600,000 DEAD INNOCENT IRAQIS AND OVER 5,000 USA SOLDIERS, NO WMD, KATRINA, NOT CHILD LEFT BEHIND, TORTURE, WORSE ECONOMIC IN THE LAST 80 YRS, LIES UPON LIES, GAS $6.00 PER GALLON, TAXES TO HELP THOSE CEOS MAKING 40 M AND THE LIST GOES ON.

    November 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. California Gold

    I think Laura Bush has been a wonderful First Lady and don't doubt her sincerity. After 9/11 she took to the airwaves to talk to parents about helping children with their fears and feelings. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for her because of her concerns for our nation's children–all children.

    November 30, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Jim Hall

    She isn't even worth commenting about Jim Hall Kansas City Missouri.

    November 30, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Ed Word

    "spending time with men and women who have volunteered to serve the United States of America."

    You mean the ones he sent into his botched Iraq "war of choice"?

    America weeps, Laura. – weeps for the damage your husband has done to this great country.

    November 30, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Phillip Bunn

    GO BACK TO TEXAS! Leave the emotional clean up to those better qualified to be HUMANS!

    November 30, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. SeattleLatte

    I don't like this quote: "Well, I don't know if I would say that, but I certainly saw somebody who was very ambitious and accomplished in both of them."

    Why does white america always use code/negative words to describe African-Americans? I understand she may not be glad a democrat won, but she could have been nicer in her words. Oh well, her husband's presidency is a failure, so what does that say about her.

    November 30, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Proud Democrat

    I have always been impressed by Laura Bush......I wish her the best.

    November 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Like we care? Go back under your rock....

    November 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Yes to Obama

    Who cares what ur plans are...just take ur G.W.Bush and never come back............. We Americans are just glad that the 8 yrs of permanent torture is finally over..

    November 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. John, Brooklyn, New York

    I'm concerned about how Laura Bush responded to President Bush's statement that he'd miss most "spending time with men and women who have volunteered to serve the United States of America." by saying "I'll miss being with the military too." Granted, she also included their personal staff and White House adminsitrative and service staff.....but....

    The Bush's STILL don't get that our government isn't just about the military and their own personal service staff. The government also includes tens of thousands of Peace Corps volunteers who, armed with only good will and strong hands, go deep into global communities and often have to personally face the consequences of a ruined US reputation.

    The Bush's STILL don't get that our government includes hundreds of thousands of teachers who invest their entire careers in ensuring that the next generation is equipped to run our democracy in an increasingly complex world.

    The Bush's STILL don't get that the government includes hundreds of thousands of Head Start program workers, Medicaid and Medicare, and Social Security staffers who take care of Americans at the beginning and ends of their lives.

    The Bush's STILL don't get that the government includes tens of thousands of government mediators, investigators, and lawyers who ensure that our environment, our workplaces, and civil rights are safe from physical threat and social discrimination.

    Bottom line....after eight long years, the Bush's STILL don't get what the government is, what it should be, and what the American public has called it to be.

    Thank God for a new administration that does get it!

    November 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Griff

    America missed the post, on any future Election..
    A None Entry won. By Fault....

    November 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. ken

    lowest profile first lady in recent memory. you could have propped a smiling manequin up around the whitehouse and nobody would have known the difference.

    November 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Amber

    Really? Are you sure it won't be baking nail files into cakes to give to your jailed ex-President husband?

    November 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Catherine

    While I do not care for her husband, you can't help but like her. Good luck.

    November 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Phil in Ca

    I've always liked and respected Mrs. Bush, I just cannot understand the George part. It's really strange to see such a nice and respectable lady who's married to a total idiot. I can't figure it out.

    November 30, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. Phoney Express

    Yes, Ms. Laura Bush, we will miss you too.....BUT YOUR TIME IS UP!!

    November 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Zenter

    you know....she's a pretty lady.

    November 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Griff

    CNN... Cable News Negative. If we talk enough Crap, we have control!
    No Half of America is stuck ibn the Past, while the other half is tryin to move on... America will still be in the 20th Century in another five-ten years... India with the 100's of millions would never have made your mistake.... Your a push-over....

    November 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Jaye

    Laura Bush is the only good thing that came from the Bush White House. I adore her – she is a "real person" (like Michelle Obama) and has been a wonderful First Lady.
    I now look forward to Michelle Obama in the White House – she is genuine and smart and just a great lady.

    November 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. earle,florida

    The sooner they both leave,the better! Dallas deserves them both,but I feel bad for the citizens of crawford,...."the smell",....ugh....

    November 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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