When Laura Bush moved into the White House on January 20, 2001, everyone wanted to know what kind of first lady she would be. Would she be like Mamie Eisenhower? Would she follow in Barbara Bush's footsteps? Would she be another Hillary Clinton?
"I think I'll just be Laura Bush," she would say.
On Saturday, April 30, 2005, the world got a glimpse of what that meant when she pushed aside the leader of the free world and stole the show at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Wearing a shimmering lime green Oscar de la Renta gown, Laura wisecracked that she was a "desperate housewife" married to a president who was always asleep at nine.
Replayed constantly on the air, the stand-up routine with its impeccable comedic timing turned the first lady into a glittering star. But while the performance catapulted her to new status, it did not answer the question of who this former teacher and librarian really is and just what role she plays in influencing her husband and shaping his administration. The Bushes are more effective than the FBI or CIA at keeping secret what goes on behind the scenes at the White House, the ranch, or Camp David.
Now, New York Times best-selling author Ronald Kessler draws back that curtain in the first biography of Laura Bush to be written with White House cooperation. Based on interviews with her closest friends and confidantes from childhood to the present, as well as family members and administration heavyweights like Condoleezza Rice and Andrew Card, Kessler paints a portrait of a woman who, even as she ascended to the heights of political fortune and power, never lost touch with the bedrock American values she absorbed in her youth.
©2006 Ronald Kessler (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.