Laura Welch Bush

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Laura Welch Bush is First Lady and wife of George Walker Bush.

The First Lady's Steely Public Diplomacy

"At a time when the U.S. is eager to repair its image around the world, the administration has found a willing envoy in Mrs. Bush," who traveled to Afghanistan, the West Bank, Rwanda and Tanzania in 2005. "Increasingly convinced the war on terror won't be won at gunpoint, the administration hopes Mrs. Bush's trips can draw on her domestic popularity to make inroads abroad," writes Christopher Cooper. U.S. public diplomacy czar Karen Hughes called Mrs. Bush "a wonderful messenger." This summer, Mrs. Bush "met in Rwanda with a 13-year-old orphan raising her younger siblings. While the girl's story left staff members in tears, a grim-faced Mrs. Bush rose from her seat, walker to her next stop in a nearby chapel, sat down in a front pew and smiled." One staffer commented, "She's got that steely gene, I guess." [1]

Controversies

Fatal Accident

  • When she was 17 years old, Mrs. Bush ran a stop sign and killed a friend. She was not charged in his death. The details of the crash emerged after the police report was obtained in response to an open-records request. [2]

Racy Material

  • David Corn wrote that at the "posh" White House Correspondents' Dinner held April 30, 2005, Laura Bush followed her husband to the podium, "told her husband to sit down, and ... delivered a polished routine that ribbed her old man for being early-to-bed dull. She noted that she had told him, 'If you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later.'
"Laura's well-written script included several shots of risque material. After revealing that come nine o'clock at night, 'Mr. Excitement is sound asleep, and I'm watching Desperate Housewives,' she added, 'If those women think they're desperate, they ought to be with George.' She then joked that she, Lynne Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice had hit Chippendale's late one night. And moments later--after referring to Barbara Bush as Don Corleone and joking about her husband's aversion to reading--she made fun of her number-one cowboy for knowing little of the ways of ranch life when they bought the spread in Crawford, Texas. Such a greenhorn was George, she explained, 'he tried to milk the horse. What's more--it was a male horse.'
"It was a good performance but weird, for Laura had jabbed at her husband for not reading books, had suggested he was no powerhouse in bed, and had encouraged everyone in the room--and all those children at home glued to C-SPAN--to envision George W. Bush pulling on the penis of a horse." [3]

Commented Corn, "Laura's racy act was the talk of the town. But there was something more strange and discomforting about the evening than her channeling of Ellen DeGeneres. Neither she nor her husband once referred to the Americans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly those who had recently lost their lives implementing Bush's policy and (according to the Bushes) defending the United States from evil." Nor, Corn informed, was this the first time that the President and First Lady had failed to recognize "the American troops (those dying and those doing the real hard work) was not a one-time phenomenon. Two nights earlier at Bush's first primetime news conference in a year, Bush said nothing about the Americans risking their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not a word of thanks. Not a word of tribute for those recently killed in action."

See the complete "Transcript of First Lady Laura Bush's Pee-Your-Pants Funny Remarks to Attendees of the 2005 White House Correspondents Dinner" (Official White House Transcript) at WhiteHouse.org.

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

  1. Directors, National Park Foundation, accessed November 24, 2007.

Tobacco

Mrs. Bush serves as ambassador for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's "Heart Truth" campaign, the goal of which is to raise awareness of heart disease in women. In February, 2003 she gave an interview to USA Today Weekend that resulted in a "Special Health Report" cover article. In the interview, Mrs. Bush completely omitted any mention of smoking as a risk factor for heart disease.[1] Her husband, George W. Bush, his family and administration have ties to the tobacco industry, and President Bush has for many years refused to ratify the World Health Organization's Framework Treaty on Tobacco Control, a global treaty to limit the promotion and advertising of tobacco products around the world.

External links

References

  1. Laura Bush's Campaign From the Heart, USA Today, Special Health Report, cover article, February 3, 2008