Barbara Bush Cancels New York Times Subscription

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 12:59 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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Barbara Bush tells Fox News host Steve Doocy that she has canceled her New York Times subscription.

When asked during an interview whether she had seen a recent Maureen Dowd column headlined "Brace Yourself for Hillary and Jeb," Bush replied: "I did see that, and I thought, 'Anything to make news.'"

She dropped the newspaper subscription, she explained, after reading an obituary asking mourners not to send flowers or charitable donations but instead cancel their subscriptions to The New York Times.

"And so I did," Bush mused.

On Jan. 26, The Greenwich [Conn.] Time.com ran an obit of Leonard Smith, 86, which ended with this paragraph:

"Leonard Smith hated pointless bureaucracy, thoughtless inefficiency, and bad ideas born of good intentions. He loved his wife, admired and respected his children, and liked just about every dog he ever met. He will be greatly missed by those he loved and those who loved him. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you cancel your subscription to The New York Times. Leonard Smith would have thought that this obituary was about three paragraphs too long."

The 88-year-old Bush family matriarch sat with Doocy in her Houston home recently to discuss the 25-year anniversary of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. The conversation inevitably veered toward her family and politics.

She has loved and enjoyed all of her roles, but being "a mom" has brought her great joy, she said.

"We had babies so early that I could play golf with George W. and throw him off the golf course for profanity," she joked. "We're very, very close, George and I … because we did a lot of things together as a young mother. We went through some very tough times, too. He was my hero, he still is. That hurts when people criticize George W."

She addressed Dowd's column bemoaning a possible Jeb-Hillary presidential race in 2016 and the two families' "death grip on the American electoral system."

She didn't tip her hat on whether Jeb will enter the race, but made it clear he should have the job if he wants it.

"Maybe Jeb's given all he should give because he has worked awfully hard for a long time, but he is the best-qualified person in the country,"  Bush said. "There's no question. Put me down as saying that."

When asked by Doocy how she felt about being widely admired for being a "straight-shooter," Bush didn't hesitate to answer: "I've given that up for Lent."

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