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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 30, 2006
Interview of the First Lady by NBC
The Red Room
8:21 A.M. EST
Q And we are here in the beautiful Red Room with First Lady Laura Bush, and in just a minute we're going to get a sneak-peek, the first look at the official White House Christmas tree. Mrs. Bush, thank you so much for opening up the White House, we appreciate it.
MRS. BUSH: Thanks so much -- glad you're here.
Q And so what is this year's theme?
MRS. BUSH: Well, this year's theme is "Deck the Halls and Welcome All," but really everything is red. The theme came off this beautiful room, the Red Room, which makes the house so perfect, this beautiful old house so perfect to decorate for Christmas. So everything is red and green and very dramatic this year.
Q Well, it is beautiful. And let's go take a walk into the Blue Room.
MRS. BUSH: Okay, let's do.
Q And while we do that, I want you to talk about the gingerbread house, because it is so cool this year.
MRS. BUSH: That's right. Roland, our former pastry chef, came back -- by popular demand -- to build a gingerbread house. He covered it with those snowflakes that you can see everywhere, which are so lovely. And then on top are Barney and Miss Beazley driving Santa's sleigh, our dogs. I hope everyone can see the very top part, because it's so cute with them there.
Q And this is the amazing White House Christmas tree.
MRS. BUSH: This is a beautiful tree.
Q Eighteen feet tall -- you had to remove the chandelier.
MRS. BUSH: We removed the chandelier, and we actually sort of secured the tree there at the very top, so that it's safe. And as you can see, it's all covered with crystal, with snow this year, and I think it's really, really beautiful. And once again we did the moss skirt at the bottom, like we did last year, because we loved that and we thought it looked so pretty.
Q That is beautiful.
MRS. BUSH: It's beautiful.
Q Let me ask you, your husband is now -- the President is heading back, of course, from Jordan, after that key meeting with Iraq.
MRS. BUSH: That's right.
Q Did he achieve what he wanted to?
MRS. BUSH: Well, I haven't talked to him. He hadn't called me early this morning -- I guess he left knowing that I was still asleep when he left, so I just know what you know. But I think it sounded like it was really a substantive meeting. It's an important meeting for the President and Maliki to be able to meet with each other, in person, to talk about what both of them can do to try to reduce the violence in Iraq and try to build the democratic government that the people of Iraq obviously want, because so many of them turned out to vote.
Q I've had the opportunity to interview you several times and we've talked about Iraq the past several years. You are the President's closest confidante as his wife, and it has not gone -- the war has not gone as planned. Has it been frustrating?
MRS. BUSH: Well, sure, of course it is. I mean, any amount of violence is very, very difficult for anybody to watch or to want. We know that people there want a normal life -- most people there want that, a very large number -- and that a handful of people are causing this violence that is keeping other people from building the country they want to build. But I hope they'll seize this moment and seize the interest of the people around the world who want to make sure they can build a democracy. And I think maybe they will -- I hope so.
Q And as he gets back, you're going to have a Christmas party tonight?
MRS. BUSH: That's right, the very first party starts tonight. And I know he'll be tired, because I was with him on the last trip last week, to Vietnam. So it's a lot of travel, but we're looking forward to the first party.
Q Well, thank you very much -- First Lady Laura Bush, here in the beautiful White House. We appreciate it.
MRS. BUSH: Thanks.