The soft-spoken former first lady may not have marched down Pennsylvania Avenue with her sisters to celebrate or protest this or that. But when you live at 1600, you don’t have to. Being a first lady grants certain privileges, one of which is a bully pulpit. Bush used hers to great effect, not just by advancing women’s rights in far corners of the world but also by literally saving lives.
To assert anything less is disingenuous if not dishonest. It is also an insult to a woman of whom all Americans should be proud.
I have some personal knowledge of Bush’s significant efforts through the years. Although most associate her with literacy programs, no small detail, she also has made important inroads in women’s health. I was among three journalists, including Greta Van Susteren and Robin Roberts, who traveled with the first lady through the Middle East in 2007 to launch a breast cancer research and treatment initiative in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates…
Bush has also been instrumental in helping women advance in Afghanistan through education and professional training programs she shepherds through the George W. Bush Institute.