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Anita McBride  

Former Chief of Staff.

McBride, who served as Assistant to President George W. Bush and as Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush from 2005-2009, joined students participating from the George Mason University Video Studio along with Steve Scully, the political editor for the C-SPAN networks, and students from the Georgetown University and Purdue University.

The distance learning course, which is produced by C-Span, is a unique opportunity for students to interview guests via video conference. The course airs on C-SPAN3 on Fridays at 5 pm and also streams online (

“A First Lady has been most effective when they bring their own experiences,” stated McBride. The First Lady “humanizes the president,” explained McBride, “she acts as a window to see the president.”

She explained how Laura Bush was typecasted by the media as the “shy, retiring librarian,” but managed to break through that with a voice of her own. McBride illustrated that we, the public, expect our First Lady to be deeply engaged. For example, Laura Bush did this by focusing on global health awareness and the Emergency AIDS plan.

Anita McBride said that the American public has expected the First Lady of the United States to play certain roles, and those roles changed over time. “We expect them to use voice and comment on social issues,” McBride stated. When it comes to the role of the First Lady, nobody seems to understand better than Anita McBride, who has not only worked with former President George W. Bush, but also with his wife Laura Bush.


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