January 31st, 2014
09:25 AM ET
7 months ago

Laura Bush: Future ‘first gentleman’ should get same critiques as first ladies

(CNN) – Former first lady Laura Bush proposed that the future first gentleman should get the same scrutiny about his looks and style as first ladies have faced in recent decades.

Asked in a recent C-SPAN interview whether the media focuses too much on the first lady's hair, makeup and clothes, Bush said, "Yes. For sure."

“But I don't think we can get around it. Maybe when we finally have a first gentleman," she said. The interview was taped for C-SPAN's continuing First Ladies series and airs Monday.

"And maybe we should be that way about the first gentlemen, also, really critique the way they look all the time. Their choice of tie, or their hair style. Whatever. Or maybe their weight," she said.

Her remarks come after first lady Michelle Obama's 50th birthday was covered from all angles in the media, much more than her husband's 50th. And they come as another former first lady and former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, tops numerous polls for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 if she decides to run, raising again the possibility the White House could get its inaugural first gentleman, who's also a former president.

No specific names came up in the exchange with Bush, but she was asked if she had any advice for a future first gentlemen.

"Stand back and be quiet," she said, laughing. "I don't know, it will be interesting when it finally happens what the first gentleman will do. I hope they'll take on men's health, perhaps."

Bush served as first lady from 2001 to 2009 when her husband, George W. Bush, was president. She consistently had higher approval ratings than her husband and was lauded for her fashion and style.

"For the first lady, four years of public scrutiny, formal events and access to the best designers on Seventh Avenue have led to a remarkable transformation,” read a Washington Post article published shortly after George W. Bush's second inauguration. “First lady Laura Bush has never looked better or more obviously regal."

A librarian, Mrs. Bush tried to steer national attention toward reading and early child development during her time at the White House. She's also known for advocating for women's health and became involved in breast cancer awareness after her mother was diagnosed with the disease. The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health was established at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in August 2007.


Filed under: Laura Bush • White House
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    I've heard several excerpts of the interview. I will strive to catch the entire thing. I must admit that I never realized the lady's true intellect, wisdom, and insight.

    January 31, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Marrying her was the smartest decision President Bush ever made.

    January 31, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. O'drama ya Mama

    It almost sounds like she is endorsing Hillary.

    January 31, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Wake up People!

    One could only imagine the context of these comments if this article were about the current FLOTUS.......

    January 31, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    O'drama ya Mama
    It almost sounds like she is endorsing Hillary.
    --------------------------------–
    Co-sign.

    January 31, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. A True Conservative

    There are a number of very well qualified women who could become POTUS.....Hillary aint one of them.......

    January 31, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    O'drama ya Mama

    It almost sounds like she is endorsing Hillary.
    ----------------------------
    That's one way to see it, I guess. I thought that she was simply woolgathering, and just wants to see some man squirm underneath the needle in a petri dish. And, I just think she wants to see it in her lifetime. Bill Clinton would be a perfect first specimen to be placed under the microscope.

    January 31, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. O'drama ya Mama

    A True Conservative

    There are a number of very well qualified women who could become POTUS.....Hillary aint one of them.......
    January 31, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Here is a simple task. Name one of those women and their qualifications.

    January 31, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    O'drama ya Mama

    It almost sounds like she is endorsing Hillary.
    ----------
    That's one way to see it, I guess. I thought that she was simply woolgathering, and just wants to see some man squirm underneath the needle in a petri dish. And, I just think she wants to see it in her lifetime. Bill Clinton would be a perfect first specimen to be placed under the microscope.
    --------
    Bill Clinton? Nah... he'll always be looked at as an ex-President as opposed to a firsr gentleman.

    January 31, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Marie MD

    Women run most households. I am very confident that a woman can not only run our country but she can bring it back from the brink. We also show more tolerance of people as far as being critized but in the end we get even without lifting a finger or gun.
    A lot of civilized countries have women running them and the Earth hasn't exploded yet.

    January 31, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Marie MD

    Women run most households. I am very confident that a woman can not only run our country but she can bring it back from the brink. We also show more tolerance of people as far as being critized but in the end we get even without lifting a finger or gun.
    A lot of civilized countries have women running them and the Earth hasn't exploded yet.
    ---------------------------
    Now that you mention it, I wouldn't mind living in a country run by Amazon women from Paradise Island.

    Seriously, though. I don't think "Poor George" won many arguments with this lady. Don't mess with Texas.

    January 31, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    Marie MD

    A lot of civilized countries have women running them and the Earth hasn't exploded yet.
    -------–

    but those countries don't have a political party that considers them as child incubators (no matter what the case of impregnation), cooks, child rearers and basically second class citizens

    January 31, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. S.B. Stein

    I have to concur with O'drama ya Mama because that is what it sounds like to me; a possible endorsement of Hillary Clinton. She just may see it as inevitable. The question for me if Hillary Clinton does win the White House, what would Bill Clinton be doing differently than he does now. Many a first lady had a special program or issue that they promoted.

    January 31, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. Thomas

    Former first lady Laura Bush would have been a better President then her husband .

    She did great work in bring stability and sense to Burma.

    January 31, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Ron L.

    Not going to happen...just not the way human beings are wired. For some reason our society is geared to put much more "pressure " on women about their appearance. It has almost become a sport. It shows the lack of maturity we still have in certain areas when it comes to women.

    January 31, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Dead Bear

    Despite my strong distaste for her husband's presidency (I actually like the man as a person), I think Laura Bush was a wonderful first lady. People like her give me hope that not all Republicans are irrational, delusional, or moronic... A True Conservative, on the other hand, gives validation to my misgivings in regards to the GOP.

    January 31, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. emskadittle

    it will be confusing when the first first gentleman is an ex president

    January 31, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. emskadittle

    maybe she is considering throwing her hat in the ring

    January 31, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. IA

    Class individual.

    January 31, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Silence DoGood

    @Marie MD
    Women run most households. I am very confident that a woman can not only run our country but she can bring it back from the brink. We also show more tolerance of people as far as being critized but in the end we get even without lifting a finger or gun.
    A lot of civilized countries have women running them and the Earth hasn't exploded yet.
    ------–
    Lots of women in charge, successful gun control, successful socialized medicine, etc. It sounds so stupid when conservatives claims these things cannot possibly happen or succeed. We just have to join the rest of the civilized world.

    January 31, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |