For eight years, we watched First Lady Laura Bush's every move. Whether she was at her husband, President George W. Bush's, side or involved in her own endeavors, we watched a woman with class, style, and grace become a role model for women all over the world. Here is a brief look at her time as First Lady of the United States.
It's no surprise that Laura Bush left Washington DC with one of the highest approval ratings of any first lady (82%). A champion of health and education issues, both here in the United States and abroad, it seemed as though Mrs. Bush was well received anywhere she went, by people from all walks of life. She has been praised for her humanitarian efforts, admired for her positive attitude, and credited with helping make President Bush into the leader he has been for the last eight years.A former teacher, librarian and avid reader, Mrs. Bush began work on various education and child development initiatives almost as soon as her husband was elected President.She served as honorary ambassador for the United Nations Literacy Decade and has spoken at lengths about the importance of reading and literacy. Through her position with the U.N., she traveled to poor nations to witness and become an advocate for how literacy helps fight poverty. Together with the Library of Congress, she started the annual "National Book Festival" After September 11th, the First Lady spoke out to families to help them parent through the tragedy and composed open letters to students,
We need to reassure our children that they are safe in their homes and schools. We need to reassure them that many people love them and care for them, and that while there are some bad people in the world, there are many more good people.
Mrs. Bush didn't take her role as one of the most powerful women in the world lightly. She became an important advocate for many women's issues, especially health issues. Working with The Heart Truth campaign, she lead the federal government's effort to inform women that heart disease is not just a "man's disease."
White House Press Secretary, Ari Fleischer once said that Mrs. Bush is "more popular and welcome in many parts of the country than the president." But Mrs. Bush always stood behind her family, including her twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, and her husband. In 2006, in an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace, Mrs. Bush disagreed that people were losing confidence in her husband,
Well, I don't think they are. And I don't really believe those polls. I travel around the country, I see people, I see their response to my husband, I see their response to me. There are a lot of difficult challenges right now in the United States... All of those decisions that the President has to make surrounding each one of these very difficult challenges are hard. They're hard decisions to make. And of course some people are unhappy about what some of those decisions are. But I think people know that he is doing what he thinks is right for the United States, that he's doing what he — especially in the war on terror what he thinks he is obligated to do for the people in the United States, and that is to protect them...
Mrs. Bush has also said that "history" will be the judge of her husband's legacy, but I think we can all agree that history will not be the judge of Laura Bush's legacy. Mrs. Bush's tenure as first lady will be and already has been proven more accomplished and has been carried out with more class than any previous First Lady in recent history.
Check back tomorrow as Women of the GOP takes a look back at Laura Bush before she became First Lady.