Laura Bush Suddenly Thinks She's A Big Deal

For seven long, horrible years, we could at least count on Laura Bush staying out of the way and letting her clever husband and his henchmen destroy the planet. She was like the Mrs. Cleaver of Hell -- and America slept just a little better knowing that the various Bush family members knew their place, if nothing else. We wouldn't wake up to learn Laura hadn't bombed Iran or flooded New Orleans. But in the awful twilight of the Bush Administration, it appears our First Lady of Oppression is no longer content to load up on Xanax and smile creepily through the president's speeches. Meet the new, activist first lady.

* We learned last week that the newly empowered First Lady stomped away after D.C. gadfly Mark Plotkin had the nerve to ask her some weirdly veiled question about D.C.'s lack of real representation in Congress and the White House position on keeping marching bands out of politics. Then her own henchwomen ran Plotkin off the White House grounds and basically threatened to kill him!

* The former librarian busted out her word skillz on Wednesday, when the Wall Street Journal published a terrible, livejournal-esque op-ed warning Burma to stop killing monks -- or else she'll keep writing florid melodrama about places she's never been.

* And on Saturday, Laura Bush will fly to the UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to personally fight Osama bin Laden breast cancer!

Is this all an angry reaction to Jenna ignoring mom's pleas to maybe marry somebody better? Nobody knows, but the NYT says the White House is trying to put Laura Welch Bush out there a little more these days because she's not hated as much as people hate her husband. As for the success of her New Hillary-style First Lady adventures, the early reviews haven't been too positive:

Knit up or not, such journeys can be politically perilous, as Mrs. Bush has discovered. During her last Middle East trip, in 2005, she praised President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt for his "very bold step" toward democracy. Two days later, Mubarak supporters beat up their opposition in the Cairo streets.

Maybe it's best if she just spends the rest of the term huddled in the back of the White House kitchen, chain-smoking and reading Eleanor Roosevelt biographies.

First Lady Raising Her Profile Without Changing Her Image [NYT]


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