Former first lady Barbara Bush will be remembered for many things, but being shy about speaking out won’t be one of them.
Bush, who died Tuesday at her home in Houston, is being remembered as someone not afraid to speak her mind when asked and not shy about giving a blunt, straight-forward response.
Here are a few of Mrs. Bush’s best-remembered and refreshingly honest quotes.
- "I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up."
- "Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way."
- "And who knows? Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president's spouse. I wish him well!" – At a speech at Wellesley in 1990. Some students objected to her speaking at the college, saying she did not represent the values of the school because she left college to marry and never held a job outside of the home.
- "One thing I can say about George... he may not be able to keep a job, but he's not boring."
- "Avoid this crowd like the plague. And if they quote you, make damn sure they heard you." – Advice to Hillary Clinton on handling reporters.
- "I don't think that's healthy for the country when anyone thinks their morals are better than anyone else's."
- "I can't say it, but it rhymes with 'rich.'" – Describing Democrat Geraldine Ferraro, her husband's opponent for vice president in 1984. She apologized for the remark and noted that the word she was referring to was "witch."
- "You have to love your children unselfishly. That's hard. But it's the only way."
- "The future of this nation does not depend on what happens at the White House, but what happens at your house."
- "The darn trouble with cleaning the house is it gets dirty the next day anyway, so skip a week if you have to. The children are the most important thing."
- "Libraries have always seemed like the richest places in the world to me, and I've done some of my best learning and thinking thanks to them. Libraries and librarians have definitely changed my life, and the lives of countless other Americans."
- "I do have the most marvelous husband, children, and grandchildren."
- "Raising five boys is a handful, trust me."
- "Why be afraid of what people will say? Those who care about you will say, 'Good luck!' and those who care only about themselves will never say anything worth listening to anyway."
- "I hate abortions, but just could not make that choice for someone else."
- "Nancy Reagan was a perfectionist, and I am not."
- "It's been different. I started driving again. I started cooking again. My driving's better than my cooking. George has discovered Sam's Club." – Describing to David Letterman her life after the White House.
- "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." – Comments after visiting refugees from Hurricane Katrina and were being temporarily housed in the Houston Astrodome.
- "Suddenly women's lib had made me feel my life had been wasted."
- "Raising George Walker was not easy."
- "At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent."
Cox Media Group