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Politics & Government

Former First Lady Laura Bush Speaks In Boise

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Courtesy Zions Bank
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Former First Lady Laura Bush was in Boise Friday as the headline speaker at of the Governor’s Trade and Business Conference hosted by Zions Bank. If you watch the local TV news Friday night you’ll no doubt see Bush speaking, but you won’t hear her. Bush would not allow audio recording of her speech.

Bush began by saying the audience might like to hear about some members of her family. She then gave detailed accounts of her mother-and-father-in-law Barbara and George H.W. Bush, as well as her daughters and her grandchildren. All came up later in anecdotes as well. However, she never mentioned her brother-in-law Jeb Bush, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination.

During her speech and the Q. and A. with a Zions Bank executive that followed, Bush told stories of her time in the White House including spending the night after the 9/11 attacks in a bunker deep underneath it. She talked about how those attacks changed the nation, her husband’s presidency and her own work. Bush said she expected to focus on literacy in America from the White House but instead spent a lot of time on women’s issues in Afghanistan.

She also talked about work she’s done since her husband left office including ongoing work with women’s groups around the world and health care in Africa.

The speech was mostly free of politics. But after talking about working with an organization that promotes native plants in Texas, she tossed out a line about people in Texas and Idaho preferring to do things without federal interference. That drew applause from the audience of about 800 people.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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