Oprah Talks to Laura Bush
Oprah: I've read that when you were dating your husband, you knew he was "the one" after only three months.
Laura: That's right. And we were very glad to find each other. We'd both wanted to marry early and have a lot of children, but neither of us had found the right person.
Oprah: I've read that you are a Republican by marriage. Does that mean you wouldn't be a Republican if you weren't married?
Laura: Well, I just don't know. I have no idea. I've actually thought about that and wondered if I would have voted for the first President Bush—number 41.
Oprah: Do you call your husband "the president" in private?
Laura: I call him darling.
Oprah: I've also heard that you call each other Bushie.
Laura: Mmm-hmm. We find a lot of refuge in our relationship. Our personalities are different: He's so much more gregarious, talkative, and funny than I am. But we really complement each other.
Oprah: During the campaign, how did you handle all the jokes about your husband being "not very smart"? Did it hurt?
Laura: It made me mad, actually—though I didn't hear that many of the jokes because we were campaigning every day. We weren't watching a lot of television, and we certainly didn't sit around and watch the shows that made fun of not only him but every political person. When you're in politics, all of that is just part of the territory—and you come to terms with it.
Oprah: But did the jokes hurt?
Laura: Yes. Coming to terms with the jokes doesn't mean that your feelings aren't hurt or that you aren't miffed, but you learn to take it with a grain of salt.
Oprah: I don't know if you take it with a grain of salt, or with a whole box of salt!
Laura: It does make you feel like things are unfair. But you just know that happens. As they say, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Oprah: And you've been a political wife for a long time.
Laura: I've been a political wife and a political daughter-in-law. And I saw someone we love very much, George's dad, characterized in a way we knew wasn't true. But that doesn't make it easier to take. You always hope that every public figure will be treated with dignity.
Oprah: It has been said that you and your husband differ on a major political issue: abortion. Is it true that you don't think Roe v. Wade should be overturned?
Laura: George and I have lived with each other for a long time, and in general we agree on nearly every issue.