She loves reggae, Bob Dylan, Ben Stiller and Dostoyevsky. She
used to chain smoke, has a dark past and may have once been a pothead. She could
have been somebody. Instead, she married George W. Bush. Laura Bush fun facts:
1. A former Democrat, Laura has been known to say she is “Republican
2. In 2000, Laura reluctantly admitted she doesn’t necessarily
think Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Asked about it since, Laura is
quick to add that her opinion shouldn’t matter. She likes to say she is George’s
wife, “not his adviser.”
3. What would Laura bring with her if she were stranded on a desert
island? Her husband says it would be a vacuum cleaner. Her daughters, who call
her “OCD” (as in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), say “Windex.”
4. Three months after they met at a friend’s backyard barbecue,
George asked Laura to marry him. Of her first impression of him, she says, “I
thought he was fun.”
5. In Kitty Kelley’s recent book The Family: The Real Story
of the Bush Dynasty, Kelley claims that in college Laura was the “go-to
girl for dime bags.” Although she’s never admitted à la Clinton,
consider this: According to the Bush twins, while rifling through their parents’
record collection they discovered Laura likes Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley. Case
6. When Laura was 17, she was involved in a deadly car crash on
the way to a party. Reportedly so busy talking to a girlfriend she didn’t see
it coming, Laura drove through a stop sign and hit another car; a male passenger,
Michael Douglas, was ejected and killed. His father, who was traveling in the
car behind his, watched as his son went through the windshield and died.
7. Early in Laura’s relationship with W., one of the Bushes asked
her, “What do you do?” To which she replied, in a fashion very Edna
St. Vincent Millay, “I read, I smoke and I admire.” Though Laura claims
to have kicked the smoking habit in the early ’90s, numerous reports say she
was sneaking cigs during the recent campaign. In Kitty Kelley’s book, a source
calls Laura “a very nice woman who’s got a lot of problems and smokes constantly.”
8. Laura recently told Jay Leno the following story about herself
and her man. Her mother in-law had warned her never to criticize George W.’s
political speeches, so she never did — until, as they were returning one night
from an event where George had made a speech, George asked his wife what she
honestly thought of it. Laura said, “Well, it wasn’t that good.” The
often-emotional George drove their car into the wall of their garage.
9. Laura loves the film Zoolander.
10. Laura consistently tells us how inspired she was by her mother,
and that their regular trips to the library and reading aloud together are her
most treasured recollections. As first lady, Laura started the first National
Book Festival as well as the “Ready To Read, Ready To Learn” initiative.
Her focus through her husband’s first term has been emphasizing the importance
of reading aloud and with your young children. Her all-time favorite book is
Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and she is said to possess a worn
copy held together by rubber bands.
11. Teresa Heinz-Kerry made the mistake of saying that she wasn’t
sure if the first lady ever “had a real job.” But “Laura-steady-as-she-goes”
(as her father-in-law supposedly calls her), who worked for a decade as a teacher
and librarian in a public elementary school, insisted she wasn’t offended. In
fact, Laura is only the second first lady, after Hillary Clinton, to have earned
an advanced degree, a masters in library science.
12. George W. calls Laura his “secret weapon,” because
according to Gallup polls she is more popular than he, with 73 percent approval.
13. While George W. has been busy weakening our global environment,
Laura describes herself as a “preservationist.” She loves gardening,
bird watching and hiking, takes annual trips with her girlfriends to cool places
like Belize and the Grand Canyon, and was instrumental in the “Preserve
America” initiative — focusing on restoring and protecting “natural
resources.” Stuff like “monuments and buildings, to landscapes and
main streets.” The pride of Laura’s personal efforts is the restoration
of 50 acres of the Bushes’ ranch to its original blue-stem prairie grass.
14. Laura once said about our president, “George is not an
overly introspective person. He has good instincts, and he goes with them. He
doesn’t need to evaluate and re-evaluate a decision. He doesn’t try to overthink.
He likes action.”