Former first lady Laura Bush had some advice Monday for future people who take on that role while serving in the White House — "start with what you know."
"I was a librarian, a teacher," she told the "CBS This Morning" program. "Those were really important things that had to do with illiteracy and what you want children and families to do together."
Bush noted that just before the 9/11 attacks, the first National Book Festival, which she had founded, had been held on Sept. 8.
"You know, 100,000 people came to the National Mall," Bush said. "It was such a difference, really, between that day and then two days later."
The first lady is not elected, but "can have a lot of influence" on the president, Bush said, who will appear at a forum Monday with the first lady of Namibia, whom she worked with as part of the First Ladies Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.
"We know that and look at the history of the first ladies that we've known, ones we've known in our lifetimes, as well as the ones who go on, like Hillary Clinton did as the Secretary of State," Bush said.
The initiative urges leaders' spouses to use their status to improve healthcare and education for women and girls, but Bush said Monday she has no advice for the current first lady, Melania Trump.
"I met her, went to the White House and had tea," Bush said. "She was very friendly. She had everyone that I knew waiting in the diplomatic reception room so I could say hello to everyone, which was really sweet."
Bush said that she had a "huge advantage" when she became first lady, as she had mother-in-law Barbara Bush, who was a "huge influence on me."
She also said, when asked about her proudest achievement as first lady, that she had not thought about that question before, but did mention the beginning of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council as an highlight.
Bush also admitted to feeling a "slight sigh of relief" after leaving the White House, but did say there were times to do "normal" things, such as going for strolls on the National Mall while wearing a baseball cap, to help keep her from being easily recognized.
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