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There is a myth in the United States - you've heard it many times. It says that all American mothers hope that their child will grow up to be President of the United States. In my case that certainly is a myth. I never dreamed that any of ours would; there were days when I hoped that they'd just grow up!
I did hope for our children to be happy. I also hoped they would be decent, responsible, independent, and caring. Besides that, I hoped they would believe in a greater being, God. All our children have achieved those dreams.
But on January 20, 2001, even without having wished that one of our children would grow up to be president, there we were sitting on the west side of the United States Capitol, waiting for our son, George W., be sworn in as the forty-third president of the United States of America. Can anyone understand how we felt? I'm not sure we did. Afterward, I wrote down my thoughts during the Inauguration:
In a few moments our son will walk down the steps, take a seat and at noon will be sworn in surrounded by family, friends, the [Supreme] Court, the incoming Cabinet, the Congress, the outgoing president and Vice President, and many others. We are thrilled to see former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter sitting on the platform. Rosalynn had written me such a nice card:
Congratulations! How proud you must be.
As a mother, I can feel the exhilaration you are experiencing having a son become president of the United States. Jimmy and I will be thinking of you and George and be in prayer, too, for George W. as he assumes this most powerful position.
We are happy for you and know our country is in good hands.
Merry Christmas to all your family,
Sincerely, Rosalynn Carter We received hundreds of cards and letters after that very painful election finally ended. These messages came from Democrats and Republicans alike. I believe that this card meant more to me than all the others we received about the election and the final results. I thought that was most generous of her and meant a lot coming from someone who knew exactly what the job entailed ...
I know I should be thinking marvelous deep and lofty thoughts, but I find myself thinking of Al Gore and what he must be feeling. He walked down the steps with a broad smile on his face and I saw him shaking hands with Coretta Scott King and other friends. His step faltered a little when he came to Jim Baker. He shook his hand and moved on. Jim Baker, a longtime Bush family friend and distinguished former Secretary of State, was George W.'s lead lawyer in Florida. Jim certainly acted as a statesman throughout the whole hideous vote recount debacle. He is credited by many of us, along with 50-plus lawyers, with seeing that the recounts were honest. The V.P. walked down the steps and took his seat one over from the Supreme Court. I'm sure that Al Gore has no love for them after their vote to stop the recount. And, if one can believe many of the speculative stories about why Al Gore lost the election, he is sitting next to the man who he believes lost the election for him, Bill Clinton. I'm sure he thinks he won the race, and although I don't, I do feel sorry for him. He is gracious, and a minute ago came over to shake our hands and to meet Jenna and Barbara, George and Laura's twin daughters. We've lost and losing is not easy.
This all took me back eight years ago to January 20, 1993, when many of the same cast of characters were on the same Capitol steps - the difference being that my George and Dan Quayle were sitting in the seats where Bill Clinton and Al Gore were sitting that day, and where George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would sit in a few moments. What an incredible eight years it had been ...
Excerpted from Reflections by Barbara Bush Copyright © 2003 by Barbara Bush. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted February 10, 2004
When George Bush was first running for President, I thought he looked entirely too boyish to have this wife who looked like his mother! But Barbara Bush endeared herself to me forever one day when she was being interviewed by an early morning news personality, in the wake of that ridiculous flack over Nancy Reagan borrowing a gown from a designer. Kathleen asked the future first lady what she thought about borrowing clothes, so which Barbara Bush replied, 'Well, for one thing, I don't know anybody my size...' I immediately loved this lady who was and is so self-depracating, and whose delightful sense of humor must make her a joy to be around. I imagine she DOES have a friend in everyone she has ever met, because she accepts people unconditionally as they are. I feel like she's one of my best friends, and I've never met her. I devoured her first book, one of the main themes of which seemed to be how much she adored George Bush. Nancy Reagan and her Ronnie have nothing on these two! I so admire any spouse who is so openly crazy about his/hers. It isn't fashionable in a lot of circles. The only thing I can say about this latest book, full of non-stop travel, speaking, fund-raising, and fun is that I don't know where they get the energy at their age to keep up the hectic schedule! Anyone with that kind of life and with the myriad of experiences they have had all over the world are of interest to me. Of COURSE it is non-political (mostly). If you are looking for bitterness and/or controversy, stick with Nancy Reagan or Hillary Clinton. Reading Barbara Bush's words at at once exhilerating and relaxing. I love her and her books!
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Posted November 2, 2004
I read this book, and I thought at first it was going to be boring, but I found it to be very interesting! I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed all the 'memories' that Mrs. Bush shared with us about her family. It gave us a more intimate look into the Bush family life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 21, 2004
There are lots of interesting anectdotes here in Barbara Bush's memoir from 1993 to 2001. Unfortunately they are completely overwhelmed by listings of meetings, names of hundreds of people who attended, food served, and the same descriptions - great, beautiful, best friend, etc. over and over again. The word 'adorable' is applied to men, women, children, dogs, as well as inanimate objects repeatedly. The text is based on Barbara's journals during this period. A good editor could have weeded out all the excess to produce a very interesting book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 9, 2004
I admit that I am a loyalist when it comes to the Bushes. I love this family for their faith in God, their love for the family and country, their candid honesty, and their compassion. Mrs. Bush has portrayed all these qualities in her book. I admire her very much for her tireless effort to be of service in every way that she can. She is a wonderful role model for all with a fantastic sense of humor. May God continue to bless the Bush family!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 28, 2004
This is one of the worst books I've ever read!! Mrs. Bush has nothing to say and I believe her only purpose in writing this book was for money. Who cares what her and her family schedual was-NO ONE!!!! This is a woman who has been around the world and met people who have shaped our world yet all she has to say is where she and George were at a given time. Her idea of a friend seems to be anyone she has ever met. Being a multi millionair her telling of not spending to much during trips and shopping is really rediculous, just as is writing this book.
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Posted November 28, 2003
I enjoyed this book,as I have enjoyed many of the books written by First Ladies. I respect Mrs. Bush's right to interpret the history which she observed first-hand in any manner which she wishes. Some of the review that I have read above criticize her for not being forthright enough - and then turn around and criticize her for being too plainspoken. I thought she hit a good balance. Mrs. Bush could have said ugly things about the Clintons. She did not choose to do so. She praised where she felt praise, and seldom really dished on anyone. Read Rosalyn Carter's book if you want to see dishing - or Nancy Reagan's. I have not read Hillary Clinton's book - I wonder if she is as generous to her enemies as Mrs. Bush has been? Additionally, I can't believe how her diary statement about Al Gore being easier to beat has been misread. I don't pretend to know the mind of Mrs. Bush, but when I read that diary entry, I read it as meaning that AT THE TIME that Al Gore began to triumph in primaries, she felt glad because she she thought Al Gore would be easier to beat. The 'Ha!' which followed that statement was not mean-natured, but was intended to highlight the irony of how HARD it turned out to be for George W. Bush to beat Vice President Gore. [Anyone remember Florida's shenanigans?]Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2003
This book had great potential to be both an informative and entertaining look inside one of our nation's most visible and influencial families. Too much is lost in bitterness and pettiness. Such a shame because Barbara Bush is such a charming and witty woman.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 14, 2004
This is a book that I happened to pick up and could not put down once I started. It gives new insight into Mrs. Bush and her life and love for those around her. It is not a book full of political discussion (although she does make comments and observations throughout), so anyone can enjoy it. This book has given me a newfound respect for the entire Bush family.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 9, 2003
I am so very sorry that I purchased and stuck to the bitter end reading Mrs. Bush's book. Over and above the fact that it a fairly dry read, I wondered how her children and grandchildren were reacting to the book. It felt to me that Laura is the favorite daughter in law, and I felt bad reading about the Russian trip with Noelle. There were no antidotes about the trip and Noelle. Maybe I, the reader, am off about this book, but I really disliked it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 11, 2003
I throughly enjoyed this honest insight. How refreshing to have a 'tell it like it is' former First Lady vs. a 'tell them what they want to hear' cameleon that we had to live with for 8 years. By the way, George W. was not given the presidency. Seems to me Al Gore couldn't even win in his home state of TN. Being the incumbent VP, he should have won by a landslide. Clearly, the best man won in 2000 and will again in 2004.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2003
Posted October 26, 2003
The title of the review may appear suprising at first, but the truth is, the title speaks the truth in love concerning the memoirs of one of our Country's most beloved First Ladies, Barbara Bush. Anyone who reads this writing will be pleased with the content, character, and most of all, enduring 'wittiness.' Her way with words and phrases breeds an atmosphere of respect - an atmosphere of reality, for through the remarks, we see the struggles and victories of a wife, mother, grandmother, and Stateswoman. However, though one will enjoy the writing, one will find themselves struggling with the 'bitterness' between the Bushs' and Clintons '. This is the most disappointing, for this battle overshadows the true heart of the person, and adds more tension to a Country deeply divided over an election which was decided via the Courts. To win doesn't always mean to 'win.' She is like any Mother, any wife, protective of whom they love. But there should come a time when being 'protective' is turned into being 'overprotective.' THe writing at first is 'cute,' but then it turns sour.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2003
after reading this fine book 'reflections' it is easy for anyone to see how barbara bush earned the title of first lady.she is such a caring person. this wonderful book follows the election of president george w.bush and she takes you on her many travels with her grandchildren and this is so well writtion that you feel like you are really there. this book makes the perfect present for anyone of your friends and family during the holidays. shop online and avoid the malls and crowdsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2003
Posted December 7, 2003
This book is wonderfully written and fun to read. You find yourself so close to Mrs. Bush and her family...it is so sad when you come to that last page! Highly recommended...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 23, 2003
Posted June 18, 2010
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Posted July 30, 2010
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