Thursday, December 2, 2010

Laura Bush Review

Somehow the following recap fell off our blog which was posted in early has been re-posted for your review.

Have had a few days to look through all of the feedback from the Laura Bush engagement and before sharing, wanted to give you a couple of observations I had on my own.

I found Mrs. Bush to be quite charming, warm, and down to earth. She spent a good twenty minutes with my wife and family talking about very normal things: grandchildren, family traditions, normal, ordinary things. I came to the conclusion that while she played the part of First Lady very well and has the ability to "politic" with the best of them, her real comfort is to play the role of mother, grandmother, and wife. She seems internally wired and motivated by those things closest to her.

A touching moment came as she and her entourage were leaving the VIP / Photo area. A woman who had delivered a number of student letters to Mrs. Bush earlier in the day was late to the VIP area and had missed her opportunity to take a picture with Mrs. Bush. Recognizing the woman, and realizing she was upset, Mrs. Bush stopped into her tracks and turned right around (entourage in tow) to return to the VIP area and accommodate the tardy teacher.

Of all of the speakers we have hosted (36 and counting), Mrs. Bush brought the most security and personal assistants to Sacramento. Three different assistants reviewed ahead of time all of the questions asked during our Q&A sessions which was something very new to us. Bomb sniffing dogs were used twice prior to our engagement during the day inside the lobby and seating area. Certainly not my position to pass judgement on all of the security and handling, but very different from any speaker we had hosted in the past.

The Bush program scores were as follows:(1=LOWEST 5=HIGHEST)

The Overall Engagement = 4.2

The Lecture Portion = 4.0

The Q+A Portion = 4.0

Lighting = 4.3

Acoustics = 4.3

A few quotes from patrons about the program:

"I appreciated her delving into her personnal past. I wish she had been a little more forthcoming about some of her responses during the Q&A session."

"Her speech and the Q & A session were very practiced. Although Mrs. Bush has a great sense of humor, no real passion shown through. I read her book beforehand and much of her "speech" was lifted from the book. Perhaps billing it as a "reading from Laura Bush" would have been more accurate. I was disappointed."

"Laura Bush was gracious, warm, witty, and lovely!! She is the wife of one of the most polarizing presidents of my lifetime, and yet her talk was one that everyone could enjoy no matter what you thought of George W. Bush. The group of women I attend with, half of whom are politically conservative, and half very liberal, all loved Laura!! "

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