I Kind of Love Laura Bush: Confession of a Democrat
In the foreword to her acclaimed novel "American Wife," Curtis Sittenfeld admits that she wrote the book because of the affection she felt for Laura Bush after reading a biography on her. This puzzled her since Laura Bush is the wife of a man that most Democrats would like to erase from the history books.
At first, I thought Sittenfeld was simply an anomaly, but then I read the biography myself, as well as Sittenfeld's fictional biography on the former First Lady, and I felt my resolve begin to weaken.
Now, details about Laura Bush's new autobiography have come out, and in it, she talks extensively about losing her faith after killing one of her classmates in an automobile accident.
Strangely, this was the final push that sent me over the cliff of affection into full-blown love for Laura Bush...
...while still completely deploring her husband.
Oh, don't think that she turns against him in this new book. She defends his flying over New Orleans after Katrina in a helicopter. Still, when it's Laura Bush defending the flight, somehow, it seems to make sense.
She says that it would have been irrational for him to go by land as it might have stopped medical and food supplies on trucks from getting to where they needed to go.
I read that and thought, Wow, maybe President Bush should have appointed his wife his Press Secretary.
It's more than just her words, though. It's her whole demeanor. There's just something about her that's really hard to dislike.
When First Lady Michelle Obama was criticized for saying that she was never prouder of her country than when her husband was running for President, Laura Bush was the one who silenced the critics by defending the future First Lady and pointing out that the statements were edited and presented out of context.
That defense nearly gave me ideological whiplash.
Did Laura Bush just defend Michelle Obama?
Following that, Michelle Obama went on The View and said that she thought Laura Bush was a role model for a potential First Lady, and I actually found myself agreeing with her.
Ironically, it's what most would consider political poison that I find appealing about Laura Bush: That car accident.
Something about the tragedy and the admission that she lost her faith during that time peels away that political sheen that seems to exist around every politician and those they come in contact with for the duration of their careers. The fact that she's now opening up about it makes me see her more as a human, and a really tough human at that.
I guess what I like most about her is that she's never really seemed comfortable in the political spotlight. Everything written about her indicates that she's a devoted wife who supported her husband and continues to do so, but that given the choice, this is probably not the life she would have chosen. She's a political figure I feel comfortable liking for the simple reason that she's not a very good political figure.
Plus, she was a school librarian. I mean, c'mon, how do you hate a school librarian?