George Walker Bush and Laura Welch Bush

Serves: 5



Let us all set aside recounts and hanging chads. Let us not refer to the thirty-six days from hell we all shared with Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore after election day.

Allow me to talk first about Laura Bush, our nation’s First Lady. Now where would you start? Before or after the ascension to America’s Royal House? I think I’ll start after the rocky road to the White House.

Julia Reed wrote an article this summer for Vogue Magazine. In it she said, “Laura Bush is so thoroughly unself-conscious it seemed as though I had plopped down on a friend’s couch instead of the Mark Hampton sofa recently moved upstairs from the oval office.”

Ms. Reed continued, “The President may have Dick Cheney by his side, but his greatest strength comes from the First Lady.” She is first in command when it comes to her family.

I will add, this isn’t faux camaraderie—she is a real down-to-earth person who cares about what she’s doing and about people. I think we all lucked out having Laura Bush for our First Lady. She stands at the President’s side ready to keep him zoned.

One of Mrs. Bush’s gifts is the ability to stay focused. She keeps her daily life as uncluttered as she can—no matter what the role, be it wife, mother, First Lady or friend.

As the First Lady of Texas, she was spotted standing in line at the Post Office. When asked what she was doing there, she replied very matter of factly, “I’m mailing a letter.”

I like people who do not forget where they come from.

Also, this is a warning—if you’re ever invited to visit the ranch—don’t worry about what to wear. The Bushes have had the same clothes for the past 30 years. “Just broken in and comfortable,” they say. You will be told “relax, we don’t update down here.” They are very unpretentious, regular people. Rack suits and dresses and drugstore makeup suit them well.

I hope this down-to-earth attitude will filter through the White House, because when I decided to update my book, I called and was given the brush off. I had no response for two months. But then I realized the gestation period is nine months. When the First Lady’s office found out about my dilemma, they were right there to help. Maybe because everyone there is so new or the mail got lost or whatever. The main thing is they sent their apologies and four recipes I can include in this chapter. It’s a start.

Now a few words about George W. Bush. All new Presidents, no matter what their prior experience, must go through on the job training. Even LBJ, who brought a vast amount of knowledge to the table, had to learn the job hands-on.

Number 43, as he is known or (“Trailblazer” by the Secret Service), has had a rough time. And his gestation period is not over.

He has been called “Toxic Texan,” “Presidential Thief” and much more.

Still fresh in our minds is the 56% of the popular vote for Mr. Gore and 44% for Mr. Bush. The hang-up was Florida with its ten electoral votes.

The race to count and re-count the ballots over and over again was well underway. Low and behold, America learned a new word—-“CHAD.” (I always thought “CHAD” was some yuppie at The Club saying, “Tennis Anyone?”)

At the very end of this mess, when there was no clear cut winner, the decision was thrown into the hands of the United States Supreme Court. And guess what? We had a winner—George W. Bush, by one vote. This was the first time since Rutherford B. Hayes took office that the winner had fewer votes than the loser.

This is a very tough way to start. Forty four percent think he’s great and 56 percent want his head on a plate.

Our constitution has a unique way of cleansing itself. Four years from now, if we don’t like the job he’s doing, we can vote him out. If you approve of the “Trailblazer,” give him four more years or another way of putting it, a stay of execution.

The reputation of George W. Bush so far is “he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.” Whatever people may think you must admit he makes us laugh. There is a new coined word, “Bushisms”.

Let me share with you some of my favorites.

When asked whether the violent protests in Genoa had influenced his views, our believer-in chief replied: “I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe, what I believe is right.”

“First, we would not accept a treaty that would not have been ratified, nor a treaty that I thought made sense for the country.”

“It’s very important for folks to understand that when there’s more trade, there’s more commerce.”

“I think there is some methodology in my travels.”

“You teach a child to read and he or she will be able to pass a literacy test.”

“We’re concerned about AIDS inside our White House—make no mistake about it.”

“I confirmed to the Prime Minister that we appreciate our friendship.”

“I am mindful of not only preserving executive power for myself, but for predecessors as well.”

“I do remain confident in Linda. She’ll make a fine Labor Secretary. From what I’ve read in the press accounts, she’s perfectly qualified.”

“I know how hard it is to put food on your family.”
“I understand small businesses. I was one.”
“The most important job is not to be Governor, or first lady in my case.”
“I know that the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully.”

“They want the Federal Government controlling Social Security like it’s some kind of Federal program.”

I’m sure someday you will see a book on the shelves titled “Bushisms and other Brain-Droppings.” Not since Dan Quayle have the press and political satirists had so much fun.

Personally, I love all this buffoonery. But on a serious note—George Bush has had high ideals and values. He has brought a calm to the nation and the White House. We all need that.

The one thing I’ve learned in my research on Mr. Bush is that he is his own man. I’ve also learned he is his Protocol Chief’s worst nightmare.

On a recent trip to Europe, the press asked him about drugs and he replied with this statement, “I was young and irresponsible when I was young and irresponsible.” OOOKAY!

We all learned a geography lesson on this day as well when the President said, “Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease.”

In Sweden, number 43 declared, “Europe should have more countries.”

President Bush looked many of his peers in the eyes, declared them good honest men, and then called them by the wrong names.

In spite of all this silly stuff that we can laugh at in America, our President and First Lady are decent people, who are committed to doing a good job. I wish them both good health and good luck.

Enjoy the Bush family recipes.

This George Walker Bush and Laura Welch Bush recipe is from the Secrets from the White House Kitchens Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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