Cleve Francis
cardiologist, musician

Cleve Francis

Cardiologist; President, Mount Vernon Cardiology Associates, Alexandria, Va.; musician.


A class act

Q: Laura Bush drew kudos and controversy for largely staying out of the limelight as first lady. She's even reserved in her new memoir. Did Bush miss a chance to promote her causes more aggressively? Do such people have any responsibility to the public?

Whether or not first ladies become involved in the limelight, as did Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt, is a matter of personal choice.

If they choose to do so, there is a place for it. I think it becomes very difficult when the cause they support becomes political and can work at odds with that of the president.

These are very bright and at times professionally trained women. The whole country profits when they support national nonpolitical causes. I'm sure that over the ages they have let their political and social views be known to the president. I am certain that this has had some influence on his positions publicly.

The work that Michelle Obama is doing with the problem of obesity in America is the kind of cause that is most rewarding. This helps our country and its health problems, does not run counter to what the president is doing, and keeps the first lady engaged.

In my opinion the former first lady, Laura Bush, is a class act. She chose not to get involved in the limelight as her husband struggled through a very difficult presidency. As indicated in her book, she has a lot of personal convictions and ideas on the world's political and social events, but she chose to keep them to herself, until now.

The Bushes seemed to have had a good understanding in this regard. He was the elected president and her main duty was to be supportive to him personally. She succeeded in doing just that.

By Cleve Francis  |  May 17, 2010; 5:02 PM ET  | Category:  Defining success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: No shouting needed | Next: Under a white-hot spotlight


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Where was she for the eight years that her husband was diligently destroying the middle class? the ordinary people trying to make a living? the poor? the funding for no child left behind? Or was she always like her mother-in-law and always keeping her mouth shut......the problem is her mother-in-law's husband did not destroy the country.

Posted by: johng090866 | May 19, 2010 10:23 PM
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I too think Laura is a class act.

Posted by: Gadder | May 19, 2010 8:04 PM
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WOW - such hateful comments.

I thought she was a class act but her book dispels that notion. If she felt so strongly she should have spoken out/up when she had a bully pulpit.

Posted by: rlj1 | May 19, 2010 3:12 PM
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was she classy and reserved when she killed her ex-boyfriend?
she and her frat boy husband deserve each other,we the american people did not.

Posted by: ninnafaye | May 19, 2010 3:05 PM
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She wasn't silent as first lady, folks just weren't paying attention.

Posted by: Hmmh | May 19, 2010 2:55 PM
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Laura Bush is classy, unlike a lot of the folks posting on here!

Posted by: maslager | May 19, 2010 12:43 PM
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She's hardly a "class act". All she is is an apologist for her dopey husband. May she burn in hell for all eternity, along with the rest of the evil family.
Posted by: adrienne_najjar | May 19, 2010 9:12 AM
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Well, aren't you just a very classy and nice person.

Posted by: jack71 | May 19, 2010 12:08 PM
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I like Laura. I was surprised she came out with a book. It was so unlike her. I think the Bushes are hurting for money.

Posted by: forgetthis | May 19, 2010 9:34 AM
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Thank you, Dr. Francis, for a sane and classy commentary on a substantive woman. How regrettable that there are commenters such as demtse whose bile and hatred are not excised from these pages.

Posted by: SavingGrace | May 19, 2010 8:09 AM
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She fits the mold of President Bush perfectly: someone who wants to take us back to the good old days where women were silent and men (acted) tough.

She sold out her beliefs while her husband trampled on them. She is a robot and and a relic of a bygone era.

She shouldn't have stayed silent.

Posted by: Chops2 | May 19, 2010 3:57 AM
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I second the fact that Laura Bush was a class act.

We have had many "Lady Macbeth" types as first lady and the results have, as predicted centuries ago... been disastrous in most case...

Posted by: sally62 | May 19, 2010 1:54 AM
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