Shortly before the election last November, Laura Bush sought to shape her somewhat hazy legacy. The former first lady spoke to historians, reporters, and other DC insiders in a 3-hour “legacy lunch,” at which she was called “candid,” “funny,” and “open” as she answered questions, Politico reports. “No first lady has ever reached out to historians to talk about what she'd done. It was a first,” said a historian.
Bush was well-liked but low-profile during her husband’s presidency, regarded as a traditional first lady; the meeting aimed to “fill in the blanks” of her accomplishments, Nia-Malika Henderson writes. She discussed her visits to 77 countries in 8 years, her work on global literacy, and her fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan. “She has her own ideas. She just chooses to not be as public about it,” said a former Bill Clinton press secretary.