Monday, October 15, 2007

The current First Lady speaks out

First Lady Laura Bush is the subject of a profile in today's New York Times that notes "in the twilight of her husband’s presidency, the woman who once made George W. Bush promise she would never have to give a speech is stepping out in a new and unusually substantive way." The article calls her "the administration's leading voice" on the political struggle in Myanmar, and notes that she called the UN Secretary-General on the matter. earlier this year, to the surprise of some. Her reaction?
“I think that this is sort of one of those myths,” she told reporters after the call to the secretary general, sounding surprised at the stir she created, “that I was baking cookies and then they fell off the cookie sheet and I called Ban Ki-moon.”
Even though the article takes time to note the varied roles played by first ladies -- and the sometimes controversial reactions to those roles -- you'll get a better flavor of the public ambivalence about the "first spouse" role by reading the comments posted on the Times site here. There's no shortage of views: By 7:30 Eastern time this morning more than 30 people had weighed in. How much of that is due to ambivalence about women speaking in public? To politics? To views about her husband? Weigh in here and let us know what you think.