George W. Bush: The Interview
At the Ranch
The First Couple, President George W. Bush, 57, and Mrs. Laura Bush, also 57, met with Ladies' Home Journal on April 8, 2004, the Thursday before Easter and the day that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was testifying in front of the 9-11 Commission. They were relaxed; being on home turf at the Bushes' Prairie Chapel Ranch and its 1,600 acres in Crawford, Texas, seems likely part of the reason. The rooms we saw at the ranch are serene and sophisticated: In a sitting room, there are moss-green fabric couches and sisal rugs over cool, cement floors; on the gray walls, framed line drawings of Spanish and Mexican horsemen throughout history.
Diane Salvatore for Ladies' Home Journal: Are there Easter traditions that happen here that you might share with us?
Mrs. Bush: A family get-together. President Bush, number 41, Barbara Bush, and the girls will be here. My mother's already here. And of course we go to church at one of the big military bases [Fort Hood], where there are a large number of men and women who have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Salvatore: This looks like quite the setting for an Easter-egg hunt.
Mrs. Bush: We won't be doing it today. Our girls have outgrown it.
Salvatore: Speaking of the girls, do you fantasize about the time when there'll be little grandchildren running around the ranch?
President Bush: Yes, ma'am.
Mrs. Bush: This big tree out here looks perfect for a picnic with grandchildren underneath it.
Salvatore: Could you update us on the girls' plans?
Mrs. Bush: We're very proud of them. They've had very distinguished college careers. [Jenna and Barbara Bush, both 22, graduated in May.] They are going to wait to get jobs till after the election, but Jenna's still very interested in teaching. And we'll see what Barbara's going to do. She has a lot of interests.
Salvatore: Among them?
Mrs. Bush: She's maybe interested in doing AIDS work, with an AIDS foundation; she doesn't know which one.