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Laura Bush Helped Pick White House Staff

Thursday, 19 April 2001 12:00 AM

Asked in an interview Wednesday on CNN's "Larry King Live" if she was consulted when her husband picked his team, she replied: "To some extent. A lot of the team I already knew."

She called National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice "a wonderful friend" who often travels with the Bushes. "I love having her along."

As President Bush has noted, his wife is one of his key advisers, even though she likes to downplay her behind-the-scenes role.

"I'm proud that a lot of women are at the table over there. ... He has a big number of senior advisers who are women," said Mrs. Bush, whose husband has eight women among his top 18 White House staffers.

The first lady also confided to King "I like to talk about personalities ... privately with my husband," but said mostly they talk about their twin daughters, weekend plans and "funny things our animals did."

She said she was surprised and thrilled about the forum she gained by moving into the White House.

Mrs. Bush said she plans to use that extra influence to encourage more people to consider teaching as a profession.

A former teacher, Mrs. Bush said it was a teacher's role to spot troubled kids such as those who have made headlines with school shootings. She also said parents and the community share in the responsibility.

"We need parents to seek help for their children. We need teachers and principals and community leaders to get together and figure out strategies in each of our communities of ways we can help children that need help," she told King.

Mrs. Bush described life in the White House as being fairly routine.

She and her husband don't always discuss politics. "George and I mainly talk about what we're going to do over the weekend or funny things our animals did. And we talk about our girls a lot, even though we don't get to see them enough," she said.

Mrs. Bush said former first lady Hillary Clinton was generous with time and advice on "ways to raise children in the White House," during a transition tour.

The first lady told CNN she and her husband were reassured by how the media allowed Chelsea Clinton to have a private life during her father's presidency.

"It's difficult," she said, referring to the media attention to the Bush's 19-year-old twins, Barbara and Jenna. "But also, I think people know that half of what's in the tabloids is not true. I hope people read that with a grain of salt."

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Asked in an interview Wednesday on CNN's Larry King Live if she was consulted when her husband picked his team, she replied: To some extent. A lot of the team I already knew. She called National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice a wonderful friend who often travels...
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2001-00-19
Thursday, 19 April 2001 12:00 AM
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