Three important aspects of Barbara Bush’s legacy

My fascination with the White House and all its incumbents has been a constant feature but was at its peak in the late 80s and 90s as the long Republican incumbency gave way to the optimism of the Clinton era. I hoovered up every book I could find on the subject.

I always had a huge amount of time for Barbara Bush. She had an authenticity and candour that both got her into and helped extricate herself from trouble at times.

The powerful images of her scooping up and kissing children with HIV were an important part in busting the myths of that time.

I bought her memoirs as soon as they came out in 1994. In it she wrote about her spell of Depression in the mid 70s. She talked of how she learned through that to be more sympathetic and understanding to others. I read that at a time when I was going through a particularly suffocating visit from the Black Dog. People didn’t really talk about that stuff back then and it really helped to read that she had got through such an experience. She also said that although she had hid it at the time, she wouldn’t think twice about seeking professional help if it happened again.

She also understood the importance of education and particularly literacy and made that a lifelong campaign.   She was motivated to make sure that people learned to read and write to give them the chance to get on in life and set up the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation which is still going strong today.

In her memoirs she wrote at length about the horrendous experience of her young daughter Robin’s death from Leukaemia when she was just three years old.  At that time you were expected to get over these things and she made it clear that you never do and that she thought of her little girl every day.

She was a good, kind and graceful woman who leaves an important legacy and I’m sad that she’s gone.

 

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • Lorenzo Cherin 18th Apr '18 - 7:15pm

    Very good from Caron

    A decent woman, first lady, married to a decent president.

    The days when the Republicans could produce moderates amongst their leaders, and spouses who need not be ashamed .

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