NEW YORK -- "There is a myth in the United States -- you've heard it many times. It says that all American mothers hope that their child will grow
up to be President of the United States," writes Barbara Bush in her new book "Reflections: Life After the White House," excerpted in the October
27 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, October 20).
The former First Lady writes that in her case, that certainly is a myth.
"But on January 20, 2001, even without having wished that one of our children would grow up to be president, there we were sitting on the west side
of the United States Capitol, waiting for our son, George W., to be sworn in as the forty-third president of the United States of America."
Afterward, Bush wrote down her thoughts during the inauguration. "I know I should be thinking marvelous deep and lofty thoughts, but I find myself
thinking of Al Gore and what he must be feeling," she writes.
"I'm sure he thinks he won the race, and although I don't, I do feel sorry for him. He is gracious, and a minute ago came over to shake our hands
and to meet Jenna and Barbara, George and Laura's twin daughters. We've lost and losing is not easy."
Referring to campaign trail talk about George W. Bush's past, Bush writes "The feeding frenzy over George's not answering the Big "C" question is
driving me crazy. I confess that I had to ask what "C" stood for and was shocked when Doro [the Bushes' daughter] told me that it stood for
coc aine. His dad and I react differently. I am sick of it, yell at the tube, and go into another room. His dad watches every holier-than-thou
commentator and political opponent...Incidentally, nobody has come forward to say he did use coc aine, and I have not asked him, nor has his
Bush writes that on September 11, 2001, she and husband George were flying to Houston via St. Paul, Minnesota, when the co-pilot reported that a
commercial plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center buildings.
"Like everybody else, we spent the day glued to the television ... We feared for our children and grandchildren. We were no different from most
Americans with one huge exception-we had Secret Service, and so knew that George W. and Laura and the girls were safe."
Bush writes that she thinks now she "didn't really understand" the ramifications of the attack.
"I know George realized that day that the world had totally turned around and upside down. I know he knew of the huge problems that faced our son,
the President of the United States. It took me much longer to realize that September 11, 2001 was the day the whole world changed; certainly for the
United States of America."
At 78, with one son in the White House and another in the Florida governor's mansion, the self-described Bush family "enforcer" seems to feel less
compunction than ever about keeping a lid on her blunt assessments, writes Contributing Editor Melinda Henneberger. Her new memoir was toned down
considerably by her editors at Scribner.
"Yes, Miss Frank over there," her husband says over lunch at their home in Kennebunkport. To ward off libel suits, he says, "the publishers had to
take out a lot."
SHE'S A DEMOCRAT