Former first lady Laura Bush was honored Tuesday at the annual Women Making History Honors gala in recognition of her advocacy efforts and contributions to inspiring women.
During the event, she said her time as first lady allowed her to make a difference in the world
“I also felt like, as first lady, I could do whatever I wanted to do. I could choose whatever issues I wanted to work on, whatever I was interested in. And it gave me — I had a platform to work on issues that were important to me,” Bush said.
She cited her 2001 radio address criticizing the treatment of women under the Taliban as how America can influence the world.
“I think it is very important for the United States to stay engaged with the rest of the world. It really is. We’re the one country who showed the rest of the world what it was like to be a democracy, to be a big democracy,” Bush said at the event, held at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington.
— NWHM (@womenshistory) May 16, 2017
The former first lady gave her support to the effort of the National Women’s History Museum to get a building on the National Mall.
“It’s really important to have a museum that focuses on women because half of the population is left out from American History,” she said “We need to figure out how we can encourage women to run for office and to run for president.”
She said her award underscored the need to “redouble our efforts to make sure there’s a women’s museum right here in our country.”
During the event, Chuck Todd of NBC asked her whether she missed Washington.
“Everyone asks me what I miss the most, and it’s the chef,” Bush said. As the laughter ebbed, she added, “who happens to be a woman.”
She said her post-White House life is “what I call the afterlife, in what my husband calls the Promised Land.”
She said she and former President George W. Bush enjoy being grandparents, but she quipped that instead of the traditional titles of “grandma and grandpa” for grandparents, now people choose their own titles.
“Now it’s kind of like choosing a name for your cat,” she said. “George just wants to have the babies call him ‘Sir.’”