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Laura Bush describes post-White House plans

  • Story Highlights
  • First lady Laura Bush discusses her future on NBC Sunday
  • Laura Bush plans to continue her work helping women in Afghanistan
  • She will move to Dallas, Texas, with President Bush after January 20
  • "I'll miss all the people that are around us all the time," she says
  • Next Article in Politics »
From Josh Levs
CNN
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(CNN) -- First lady Laura Bush said Sunday she plans to continue working to advance the position of women in Afghanistan after her husband's time in office ends in January.

In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," the first lady offered her take on the recent U.S. election, her first impressions of President-elect Barack Obama and incoming first lady Michelle Obama, and what she'll miss most.

When President Bush spoke Tuesday at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, he said he will miss most "spending time with men and women who have volunteered to serve the United States of America."

That speech "made me weep," Laura Bush told NBC.

"I'll miss being with the military, too, and that's one of the things about Camp David that we liked so much, and that's going to church at Camp David with the people who are posted there," she said.

"I'll miss all the people that are around us all the time. From the ushers and the butlers who are there for every president and have been there four or five administrations, to our own staff, of course, that we love to laugh with and talk with and solve problems with. And so I'll miss the people the most."

The first lady said she and her husband plan to spend their weeks in Dallas, Texas, and weekends at their ranch in Crawford, Texas, after leaving the White House.

Laura Bush said she hopes to maintain her involvement with the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, which works to improve life for women in Afghanistan. Established in 2002 by President Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the organization has now moved from the U.S. State Department to Georgetown University.

She also said her husband "is going to build a freedom institute with his presidential library and museum at SMU [Southern Methodist University] in Dallas, and that'll be a really good vehicle, I think, for me to continue to work with, especially, women and children in Afghanistan."

When she welcomed Michelle Obama for a visit at the White House recently, Laura Bush said, "the main point I wanted to say to her is that this is -- the White House is a home, and it can be a very happy home for her and for her children and her husband, and it certainly has been for us."

Laura Bush said she expects the media to "defer to all common sense" in terms of sparing the Obamas' children -- Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7 -- the glare of the spotlight, as they largely did for her children. "I appreciate the way most of the press let Barbara and Jenna make all the mistakes of growing up out of the limelight."

The first lady said she first met Barack and Michelle Obama at a gathering of freshman senators. Asked Sunday whether she saw in them a prospective president and first lady, she responded, "Well, I don't know if I would say that, but I certainly saw somebody who was very ambitious and accomplished in both of them."

Asked about the election, she called it "a major, historical event for the United States. And I think that's very good."

All About Laura BushGeorge W. BushMichelle Obama

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