Barbara Bush

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Ivy Compton Burnett
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If they quote you, make damn sure they heard you.

Barbara Pierce Bush (born June 8, 1925), wife of 41st U.S. President George H. W. Bush and mother of 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush.


  • I can’t say it, but it rhymes with rich.
    • On her opinion of Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro; it has sometimes been reported that she had said "It rhymes with "witch". The New York Times (15 October 1984)
  • The personal things should be left out of platforms at conventions.... You can argue yourself blue in the face, and you’re not going to change each other’s minds. It’s a waste of your time and my time.
    • On the abortion debate, in which her stance was the opposite of her husband's, as quoted in TIME magazine (24 August 1992)
  • Avoid this crowd like the plague. And if they quote you, make damn sure they heard you.
    • Advice about news reporters, to incoming first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, on a tour of the White House, as quoted in Newsweek magazine (30 November 1992)
  • But why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or that or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that, and watch him (her husband, former president George H. W. Bush) suffer?
    • Addressing the question of how much television news she'd recently been watching, in light of the enormous media attention given to likely outcomes in a U.S. war with Iraq. The interview took place two days prior to the start of the Iraq War, Good Morning America, March 18, 2003
  • What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they [the Hurricane Katrina refugees in the Houston Astrodome] 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.


  • I married the first man I ever kissed, when I tell my children that, they just throw up.
  • You don't just luck into things as much as you'd like to think you do. You build step by step, whether it's friendships or opportunities
  • Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is.

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