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Michelle Obama's Advice from Nancy Reagan

6 years ago
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We learn some of the advice former First Lady Nancy Reagan gave to First Lady Michelle Obama in the July issue of Vanity Fair, in a story headlined "Nancy Reagan's Solo Role." The magazine also reports that Mrs. Reagan would have liked to have been invited to the White House by President Obama when he lifted former President Bush's embryonic stem-cell research ban.

A few nuggets from the not-yet released feature, by Bob Colacello, are teased at the Vanity Fair website:

VF tout: "Michelle Obama called Nancy Reagan for 'advice' and 'suggestions,' and in the course of a 45-minute conversation, Mrs. Reagan encouraged Mrs. Obama to have lots of state dinners. Bob Colacello senses that she's about to contrast the Obamas favorably with the Bushes, who were famously averse to entertaining at the White House, but then stops herself."

Mrs. Reagan split with President Bush over his restrictions on stem-cell research. On the lack of a stem-cell policy ceremony invite, Mrs. Reagan said, "I would have gone, and you know I don't like to travel," she tells Colacello. "Politically it would have been a good thing for him to do. Oh, well, nobody's perfect. He called and thanked me for working on it. But he could have gotten more mileage out of it."

In other matters......


The East Wing told me that Mrs. Obama will be joining the president on Saturday in Normandy to mark the 65th anniversary of D-Day. This will be Mrs. Obama's second visit to Europe since the inauguration.

In other already announced travel plans, Mrs. Obama joins the president in Accra, Ghana, from July 10 to July 11. Mrs. Obama traveled with then-Sen. Obama to Kenya in 2006.


The White House organic garden Mrs. Obama planted earlier this year has already yielded some 80 pounds of lettuce and is "bursting" with produce.

Mrs. Obama offered that White House garden update last Friday, when she visited the Bancroft Elementary School. Kids from the school helped Mrs. Obama plant the White House garden.

"It is blooming, it is bursting," she told the students.

"We've already used about 80 pounds of lettuce. We've eaten it; we served it at a big fancy luncheon that I did for other congressional and senate spouses, and they just raved over it. And I told everybody about the work that you did to plant it, how you came back again and again, and how you're working in your own gardens.

"So everything is going well. We also shared some of the lettuce and some of the honey with Miriam's Kitchen, as well, so already the work that you're doing is not just feeding our family and the staff and our guests at the White House, but it's feeding people who may not have anything to eat. So you all should know, when you come back to harvest in a couple of weeks, you will see a totally different garden.

"Everything is blooming. We even had to replant some more lettuce because we used it up so quickly. But the beans are starting to sprout up. We put the tomatoes in...We've had rhubarb pie. If you guys have had rhubarb, it tastes just -- sort of like strawberry..."

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