Quotations From Autobiography ‘Barbara Bush: A Memoir'

On whether anyone told her what to do when her husband was president: "for the most part, I just depended on the manners my mother taught me"

Here are some quotes from the 1994 autobiography, "Barbara Bush: A Memoir." Barbara Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush, died on Tuesday at age 92.

On her first date with Bush, in 1941:
"Poppy (Bush's nickname) told me later that he had begged his mother to let him use the Oldsmobile that night because it had a radio and their other car did not. He was so afraid we would sit in stony silence and have nothing to say to each other. For years he has teased me that there was no silence that night and I haven't stopped talking since. All I know is that I liked him a lot."

On the death of their 3-year-old daughter, Robin, in 1953:
"Eventually the medicine that was controlling the leukemia caused other terrible problems. We called George, and by the time he got there after flying all night, our baby was in a coma. Her death was very peaceful. One minute she was there, and the next she was gone. I truly felt her soul go out of that beautiful little body. For one last time I combed her hair, and we held our precious little girl. I never felt the presence of God more strongly than at that moment."


"A question I'm asked all the time: Did anyone tell you what to do, or give you any guidelines, when your husband was in government? The answer is no. Certainly I was given advice on protocol, and occasionally on what to wear or not to wear, but, for the most part, I just depended on the manners my mother taught me."

On a visit to an AIDS care group shortly after becoming first lady:
"It was a wrenching visit. Besides having trouble finding housing and medical care, they all had personal problems. I especially remember a young man who told us that he had been asked to leave his church studies when it was discovered he had AIDS. His parents also had disowned him, and he said he longed to be hugged again by his mother. A poor substitute, I hugged that darling young man and did it again in front of the cameras. But what he really needed was family."

On meetings with reporters:
"For the most part, I liked the reporters and found the lunches stimulating and fun. But I never got off scot-free. I always made news even though I swore I wouldn't. I must say, however, I found it was interesting that the fact George and I agreed on 99 percent of the issues never made the news!"


"The butlers loved trying to make me guess whose china I was using. Imaging being served a meal on dishes that Abraham Lincoln ate from!"

On her dog Millie:
"Millie was a perfect mom. She knew exactly how long she should sleep with them, and after about a month she moved back in with us. I have wondered so when I read about parents abusing their children: If a dog's natural instincts are to protect her young, why, oh, why wouldn't we humans do the same?"

On promoting her best-seller, "Millie's Book":
"One day I taped all three network Morning Shows: the `Today' show with Deborah Norville; `Good Morning America' with Joan Lunden; and `The CBS Morning Show' with Paula Zahn. I wrote in my diary: `All three ladies are beautiful blondes and I began to mix them up in my mind. They all three seem chic, stylish, bright and very nice. And they all three asked the same questions."'

On her husband's loss to Bill Clinton in 1992:
"Why did we lose? George Bush says it was because he didn't communicate as well as his predecessor or successor. I just don't believe that. I think we lost because people really wanted a change. We had had 12 years of a Republican presidency. The Cold War was over, and now it was time to turn our attention toward the home front and the many problems that were and are facing our country. People were worried about jobs and the economy. There was an impression that George was more interested in foreign affairs and did not have a domestic program, which was not true. He had accomplished so much, and still had so much he wanted to do. But that was the impression."

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