Matt Towery

With so many newspapers columns about bailouts and debt, I thought I might just change the pace by paying tribute to a woman to whom we as Americans are indebted -- First Lady Laura Bush.

I know President Bush doesn't read columns, but with all due respect, he needs to read this one. So, I'm writing it to him.

Dear Mr. President,

This message has nothing to do with you or your presidency. I'll leave that to others. But, then again, it has everything to do with you and your presidency.

Being an ex-elected official and candidate for statewide office -- now permanently "reformed" by not participating anymore -- I know what the wives of political leaders go through. Not that I can ever know how tough it gets when one reaches the level of the presidency. But I can imagine.

For this and other reasons, I want to thank you personally and on behalf of a great number of Americans for the service your wife, Laura, has given to America.

Like plenty of us political men, you married "over your head," which I'm sure you know. Many of us are lucky to have bright, devoted and strong wives who not only help hold our families together during our years in political office, but who could themselves tackle many of the issues we do, often with superior skill to our own.

In the case of your own Laura, she helped raise two bright and beautiful young women. Sure they had a few teenage incidents. Whose kids don't? But they have brought honor to your family and have been a great reflection on their parents.

Then there is the side of your wife for which we as a nation owe a huge debt.

I know that most Americans know that Mrs. Bush was a librarian when you met her. But I'm not sure everyone knows that she earned not only her bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University but also a master's degree from the University of Texas. This woman is no wallflower.

And, as you know Mr. President, she has in her always friendly, warm and articulate manner, put her keen mind to work for America.

While she has been best known for her tireless efforts to promote global literacy, Laura Bush has been just as active on a range of issues -- from her "Women's Health and Wellness Initiative," to her fight to end oppression against women in nations such as Afghanistan, where she actually took the place of her husband in presenting the weekly presidential radio address in 2001.

But you know all of that, Mr. President.


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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