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

Interview of the First Lady by Kiran Chetry, "American Morning," CNN
Blue Room

7:54 A.M. EST

Q Great to see you, Mrs. Bush. Thanks for being with us.

MRS. BUSH: Thanks so much.

Q So this is going to be your last year. How are you --

MRS. BUSH: This is the last year.

Q How are you celebrating this last holiday season in Washington and at the White House?

MRS. BUSH: Well, we thought "A Red, White and Blue Holiday" would be perfect both for an election year and for our last year to have a very patriotic theme. This theme, "Red, White and Blue" is also the theme that the most Americans have written in to me and said -- in fact, it's the only theme Americans have suggested. I've gotten letters from people that said, why don't you do a "Red, White and Blue Christmas"? So that's what we did this year, and I think it looks terrific.

Q Yes, we see some really beautiful decorations behind you. I think I saw one to your left of Barack Obama. Is he on your tree this year, the President-elect?

MRS. BUSH: I don't know. Is he? Yes, it looks like it. (Laughter.) There's John Kennedy right there, as part of it, absolutely.

Q Well, it certainly is beautiful. And you know -- as we know, you actually helped -- you're helping with the transition, if you will. Michelle Obama and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, recently visited you and your daughters at the White House. She's going to be raising two young girls, just like you did, at the White House. What advice did you give her about keeping family time and being able to, I guess, have a little bit of a realistic situation in what must be quite surreal for young girls?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I didn't really try to give her any advice, but I did say that this can be a wonderful home for a family, and that she can make it that way and she doesn't need to worry about it; that everybody who works here will want it to be perfect for them, they'll want it to be a wonderful home. And that's the way it'll turn out, I know.

Q You know, a lot of people talk about the role of the First Lady and exactly how each woman that comes into the White House embodies it. There's been a little bit of a controversy over how Michelle Obama will define that role, really, a professional woman putting aside her career in favor of her husband's and her family. Is that something that is difficult to wrestle with as First Lady?

MRS. BUSH: I don't think so. I think it's something you just get used to, and what really happens is that all of our First Ladies have brought their own expertise, their own interests to the White House, and our country has benefited because of that. And I'm sure that's what she'll do, as well.

Q You know, some have called this the Year of the Woman, for sure. I know you had a great relationship with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Do you have any advice for Hillary Clinton as she gets ready to step into this new role as Secretary of State?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I wouldn't give her any advice either. But I think she'll do great. I'm excited to watch her, and I think she'll do a really good job.

Q When I last talked to you, you have really taken up the plight of women in Burma, in Myanmar. Is that something that you're planning to continue, even when you exit as First Lady?

MRS. BUSH: I will continue that. The President is going to build a Freedom Institute with his presidential library, and so it'll be a really good vehicle for me, as well, to continue to talk about Burma, to meet with dissidents from Burma like the young Buddhist monk that I had the chance to meet with when we were in New York earlier this fall.

So that'll be a really good vehicle for me to be able to work both with women of Afghanistan, as well, to make sure that the freedoms that they won so far will continue. I know that everyone, as they look around the world, at Afghanistan, sends the women there their very best, and we want them to be able to succeed.

Q Well, we thank you for your time this morning. Great to you talk to you, First Lady Laura Bush. I'm sure 2009 will be a year of changes for you, and you're headed back to Texas. So we wish you the best of luck, and Merry Christmas.

MRS. BUSH: Thanks so much, and happy holidays.

Q You too.

END 7:57 A.M. EST

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