Jan Scruggs
Memorial founder

Jan Scruggs

Founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

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No shouting needed

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?

Laura Bush is an excellent example of a first lady who used grace and class, as well as the right amount of reserve, appropriate to the position she inherited when her husband became president.

She apparently disagreed with her husband on some high-profile issues while he was in office. She remained true to her beliefs personally while keeping those beliefs out of the public eye. If she talked with the president about her opinions, she did it inside the residence of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

She was indeed a successful first lady. Literacy was a cause important to her, and Mrs. Bush did some good work encouraging reading and book festivals as first lady. She supported her husband in his work as president. She was a great asset to the nation and certainly to the beleaguered President George W. Bush.

We have a first lady now who has the affection and respect of people throughout the nation. Even the president's detractors invariably have a kind word or two about Mrs. Obama. She is a good public speaker, highly intelligent and refined. Her causes are sensible -- like marshaling resources to attack childhood obesity. She does not aggressively seek the spotlight, but seems destined to enjoy success with her causes.

By Jan Scruggs  |  May 17, 2010; 4:05 PM ET  | Category:  Defining success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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