Laura Bush – An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady

A new book by best-selling author Ronald Kessler – “Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait” – has Hillary Clinton supporters hopping mad as it strips off the veneer of Sen. Clinton’s image as first lady.


Kessler’s book hadn’t even hit bookstores – it’s released Tuesday – when the pro-Clinton magazine Vanity Fair did a pre-emptive strike on the book – attacking it as a “valentine” to Mrs. Bush with what VF claimed were “fluffball quotes” and “dubious factoids.”

Clinton allies have reason to be angry with Kessler. His White House tell-all paints an extremely unflattering portrait of the Clintons.

Having spoken to dozens of White House employees who worked under both administrations, Kessler reports that when George and Laura Bush moved into the White House in 2001, staffers were relieved.

The book reveals that the Clintons had treated Secret Service agents and household help with disdain and made few attempts to engage them in friendly conversation.

“Bush and his wife treated you normally, decently,” said one former agent. “They had conversations with us.”

George Bush was “the complete opposite of Clinton.”

And Laura was apparently the opposite of Hillary – at least that’s how the White House staff saw it.

White House elevator operator Harold W. Hancock once told a visitor about the Bushes: “I love these people. They’re so courteous. The previous inhabitants never knew my name.”

When Hancock passed away in 2002, the Bushes attended his funeral.

Hillary Clinton was quoted in The New York Times, “[Hancock] always cheered me up, because he was always so upbeat and positive and nice.” But other White House staff members were shocked by Hillary’s statement, knowing that Hancock said Hillary would barely recognize him though she met him almost every day she was in the White House.

The Bushes and the Clintons also differed in how they treated the White House itself.

The Clintons had used the White House to court fund-raisers, putting up political supporters in the Lincoln Bedroom. The Bushes, on the other hand, have given overnight privileges only to dignitaries, family members and longtime friends.

When Hillary gave Laura a tour of the Executive Mansion, Laura – who had previously stayed at the White House when her father-in-law was president – was “quietly dismayed” at the condition of the residence, author Kessler revealed.

The residence décorations appeared gaudy. Carpets and furniture had been allowed to fray and there were exposed electrical conduits in several areas. But the Clintons’ real irreverence for the White House came to light after Bill left office, when stories broke that the Clinton staff had “trashed” the mansion before leaving.

Clinton supporters called the report an “urban legend.” In response, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer detailed some of the damage in the White House and the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The Washington Post quoted Fleischer as saying that the damage included the removal of the letter “W” from 100 computer keyboards, 75 telephones with cover plates missing or plugged into the wrong wall outlets, 10 cut phone lines, two historic doorknobs missing, obscene graffiti in six offices, overturned desks, usable office supplies in the trash, and a White House photocopy machine with pictures of naked people in the paper tray.

Clinton supporters said they didn’t believe the report, although some staffers confirmed that they had removed the “W” from several keyboards.

The final, official report from the Government Accounting Office, released on June 11, 2002, did not confirm all of Fleischer’s allegations, but did state that the damage included the loss of 62 computer keyboards, 26 cell phones, two cameras, 10 antique doorknobs and several presidential medallions.

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
This entry was posted in Books and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s