The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
December 3, 2008

Interview of the First Lady by Claire Shipman, "Good Morning America", ABC News
Cross Hall and Blue Room

8:44 A.M. EST

Q Mrs. Bush, thank you for letting us into your home again.

MRS. BUSH: Thank you for coming.

Q And we have visitors.

MRS. BUSH: They might come join us but they might have to veer off --

Q All right, we're not going to touch -- (laughter) -- I remember that; we're not going to stick our fingers out. Now, tell us -- a lot of red, white and blue this year. Tell me a little bit about the theme.

MRS. BUSH: That's right, that's the theme. It's "A Red, White and Blue Holiday." And it's just -- since it's our last Christmas here, we wanted to do a patriotic theme. And it's an election year, so it's perfect to do a patriotic theme.

Q And I know a lot of people have written you, saying, let's do a patriotic Christmas.

MRS. BUSH: That's right. A lot of people -- the only suggestion I've ever gotten for the Christmas themes are people who've written in and said, why don't you do "A Red, White and Blue Holiday," or why don't you do a patriotic theme? And so it's perfect.

Q Well, it's spectacular. I love the bunting, the flag bunting, it's beautiful. And then in here, as always --

MRS. BUSH: In here, this tree.

Q -- the big tree. Oh, look at it. Now, these ornaments are really special. Tell us how you came up with --

MRS. BUSH: That's right. We asked every congressman and senator to designate an artist from their district to do an ornament that somehow depicts the district. And you can see here's a Texas ornament right here with the Texas flag and the Monarch butterfly --

Q Oh, look at that.

MRS. BUSH: -- which is the state butterfly.

Q And then there was another Texas ornament over here.

MRS. BUSH: There's several over here. There's one that looks exactly like the ranch, I think, is a really pretty one. Here's a jackalope, which is a Texas --

Q Now, I love that jackalope. It is, right? We don't know if that exists or not --

MRS. BUSH: No, it doesn't exist, we don't think. (Laughter.) But all Texans believe it really does, of course.

Here's one -- something that really does exist, and this is the armadillo. This is Barney and Beazley's favorite ornament. They love to chase armadillos when they're at the ranch.

Q What is so fabulous is when these individual artists created them. It reminds me of last year's -- we were talking about that -- the state parks.

MRS. BUSH: The state parks. Look at this great one from Florida with the fish on it. I think it's such a --

Q Oh, the fish. Oh, that's beautiful.

MRS. BUSH: -- a beautiful one from Pine Island, Florida.

Q Look at that. And this -- you said there's a young artist who painted this --

MRS. BUSH: That's right. The youngest artist is an eight-year-old who did this. She's got -- she has a brain tumor. He name is Katie Schools. Her vision has been affected, but you can see what a wonderful artist she is. So our youngest artist is eight; our oldest artist is 90 years old, and he did this Teddy Roosevelt -- Tom DeLuca is his name. He's from New York, I guess close to Sagamore Hill, maybe.

Q This is your last Christmas in the White House. Are you -- (inaudible)? What are you thinking about this year?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I am, really. I mean, it's bittersweet, both -- (inaudible) -- this very happy season always, the holiday season here at the White House. It's fun to get to do this. No house decorates in a more beautiful way than the White House does.

Q It's true. And I don't think --

MRS. BUSH: So I've loved having that chance.

Q And I want to ask you about your mother-in-law. Is she doing well?

MRS. BUSH: She's doing great. She came home from the hospital yesterday. George and I talked to her last night. She's on the road to recovery, and we hope she's really on the road to recovery fast enough to get to be with her at Christmas.

Q Oh, we hope so. Well, thank you so much for letting us visit your house again.

MRS. BUSH: Thank you so much.

Q We appreciate it. We wish you a wonderful Christmas.

MRS. BUSH: Thanks so much, Claire.

END 8:47 A.M. EST

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