First Lady Spotlight: Laura Bush

March 11, 2010 | Elizabeth

Laura Bush was the only first lady that had twins. She had a high approval rating despite the high disapproval rating of her husband. She and President George W. Bush only dated 3 months before getting married.

People magazine reporter Jane Simms Podesta said this about the effect she had on her husband:

“She is the steel in his back. She is a civilizing influence on him. Ithink she built him, in many ways, into the person he is today.”

While she was in the White House, Laura Bush used the role of the First Lady to draw attention to children and education and health of women and HIV.

When her husband was the Governor of Texas, Mrs. Bush launched the Texas Book Festival which she launched on a national scale once in the White House as the National Book Festival. She also saw the importance of establishing patriotic educated children and launched the National Anthem Project. She said this after the September 11th attacks:

“[W]e need to reassure our children that they are safe in their homesand schools. We need to reassure them that many people love them andcare for them, and that while there are some bad people in the world,there are many more good people.”

She was later honored as the honorary ambassador for United Nations Decade of Literacy, where she was able to promote literacy on a global scale.

In areas of women’s health, Laura Bush became involved with the The Heart Truth awareness campaign and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She dedicated the First Ladies Red Dress Collection to raise awareness about women and heart disease. Her mother endured breast cancer and Laura Bush now is involved with educating women about it on a global scale.

While researching Laura Bush, I learned more about her support for women around the globe-especially in Afghanistan. In 2001, she used the presidential weekly radio address to talk about women and later spoke on radio stations in Afghanistan. Her main message was this:

“The brutal oppression of women is a central goal of the terrorists.”

Laura Bush was a loving wife who had a supportive role in her husband’s administration. She led our country in the areas of literacy and women’s health and then was able to launch it on a global scale.

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