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. Grebel

    Who cares WHERE they go, or WHAT they do??? JUST GET THE HELL OUT.......... We have had enough of conservaative republican crap. And their HYPROCITICAL comments about loving the military people. HOW ABOUT THE THOUSANDS OF DEAD....... Whose idea was it to send these kids to die????? You MAKE ME SICK.

    November 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    We like this lady

    November 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. S Callahan

    Mrs. Laura Bush,
    Thank you for offering a bright side to this administration.
    I enjoyed your presence throughout the years.

    November 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Patrick Anthony Drake/Atlanta, GA

    Thank you for your service to our country my Lady. You are truly an inspiration. May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Love, Respect, Peace.

    November 30, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    She ought to take her husband and go (and stay) in Afghanistan for good!

    November 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Dahg!

    Later!

    November 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. New Yorker

    I'll miss the fine leadership with integrity that President Bush gave the country during trying times. He was far better than Clinton and truly a far better example to the next generation. It will be impossible for liberal Obama to fill his shoes simply because Obama doesn't have the wisdom it is going to take.

    November 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. Willy Brown

    Thank you First Lady for your service and for putting up with the moron media who only report the bad news when it comes to 43.

    November 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. tom

    LAURA WHY DONT YOU COME BACK TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY . you would win a landslide if you ran after obama for the democratic nomonation . happy thanksgiveing mrs bush .

    November 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. tom

    if laura bush ran as the democratic presidential candidate in 2016 it would be all over for the gop . we beleave mrs bush is a democrat at heart .happy thanksgiveing mrs bush .

    November 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. jay

    psssssssss laura aint it good to have the party back in power lol .happythanksgiveing ya all .

    November 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. jay

    we know laura bush is a democrat at heart.

    November 30, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. simon

    wouldent it be good if laura came back to the democratic party . mrs bush grew up in a democratic family staunch democratic i think.

    November 30, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Jessica Grimes

    Laura Bush is an amazing first lady. Michelle Obama has some big shoes to fill.

    November 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. bill

    advice fot laura bush.DIVORCE THE FOOL YOU ARE MARRIED TO

    November 30, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. Chappy in Florida

    IMHO, Laura Bush will go down as one of the greatest
    First Lady's and George Bush will go down as one of the
    worst President's.

    November 30, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Laura Bush is a sweet, soft-spoken, die-hard Republican.

    And she is also the epitome of everything I NEVER want to be.

    November 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Griff

    America don't forget to give thanks to your Mesiha: Borack Obama... tHANKS GIVING... 1884 – 2008.... Golly. Have we have been around???
    The World waits for America... I don't think so................

    November 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. Steve

    Laura. George. How can we miss you if you wont leave? Get out of the way and let the grownups into the White House to clean up the mess GWB has made of the Constitution, the USA and everything else his sloppy frat boy hands have mangled.

    November 30, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  20. rick

    Mrs. Bush was the best First Lady since Eleanor and Lady Bird. I'll miss her.

    November 30, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  21. Steve in Louisville

    You know what makes me weep?

    All of the fine U.S. service men and women who have been needlessly killed and wounded in the unprovoked and needless war her husband started in Iraq. And that's not to mention the thousands upon thousands of Iraqis who have died as a direct result of her bloodthirsty husband.

    She should spend the next few years in the Hague as she awaits her husband's war crimes trials.

    November 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. Jo Ann

    What a poised and gracious first lady who has been a wonderful role model for women everywhere. She exemplifies all that one expects from the wife of the President of the most powerful country in the world.

    November 30, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. Griff

    Todays Toto's! When will they be able to live in; their World???... No God! No King! No Queen! No Prior 2001... Come on Idiot.........................................................................Mr Black America!
    When do your kids get their Independance????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    November 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. ree

    What a lady. I wish her all the best. Michelle can never live up to Laura Bush. Laura was always proud to be an American.

    November 30, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. Republican

    To the First Lady Laura Bush.
    Your leadership as a First Lady has been greatly appreciated. You have been the most admired humled and genuine person this country has seen in many years. Your support and leadership will be truly missed. We all love the entire Bush family and will be sorely missed by our family and the USA. Your sincerity certainly shows to the whole world. Thank you for representing our country in the most dignified way this country has ever seen.

    November 30, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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