Transcript: Charlie Gibson Interviews President Bush

BUSH: I think so, yes. I'd like to live life without the limelight for a while. I don't -- I think it's going to be real important for me to get off the stage. We got a new man coming on the stage; I wish him all the very best. And I don't want to be a -- I don't want to be out there critiquing him, his every move.

GIBSON: How about you? What thought have you given to it?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I'm actually thinking of things like being a cook again and doing those sort of things. And I'm feeling very incompetent -- (laughter.)

BUSH: I guess I'm going on a diet. (Laughter.)

MRS. BUSH: But I'm looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to the more normal daily life. But I want to keep working on all the things I've worked on. And I think the institute, the freedom institute that George is going to build will be a perfect vehicle for me to keep working on things.

GIBSON: Do you want to withdraw from the limelight, as he does?

MRS. BUSH: Sure.

GIBSON: Do you?

MRS. BUSH: Sure.

GIBSON: Because you go from 120 miles an hour --

MRS. BUSH: That's going to be the hard part.

GIBSON: -- to dead stop.

MRS. BUSH: That's it.

GIBSON: And one former President said to me, it's a shock when the phone rings, that you know it's probably the kids.

BUSH: Yes, that's right.

GIBSON: And it's not --

BUSH: It's going to be an interesting adjustment. We'll adjust. We got each other, we've got our kids, we've got fabulous friends in Texas. One of the great things about our lives is that we have a bunch of friends in our state that were our friends before politics, they were our friends during politics, and they'll be our friends after politics. We're going to a society where we got a lot of folks that will help us adjust from the big-time to just normalcy.

GIBSON: So what do you anticipate the feeling will be? I'm always wondering what's going through the mind of that -- it's always been a man -- walking down the Capitol steps, getting on the helicopter, flying out for the last flight on Air Force One, and suddenly realizing his life has just changed totally.

BUSH: Yes, it's an interesting question. It will certainly be a contrast to that moment when you get sworn in as President and realize your life has just changed totally. One of the things I'm beginning to realize is that you get prepared for that moment during these final months. Today was my last pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey. (Laughter.)

MRS. BUSH: We're on the lasts.

BUSH: And so in other words --

GIBSON: I don't think that's going to keep you up nights -- missing that.

BUSH: No -- but, no, but seriously, there's a lot of last moments.


BUSH: And I suspect that by the time the moment comes, that you will have said goodbye to so many people and goodbye to places like Camp David, that it may not be quite as difficult as you would think. I don't know. Listen, I've never done it. This will be an interview that you need to come down and find me in about six months from now --

GIBSON: I'll be there.

BUSH: Thank you.

GIBSON: I'll be there. But is it -- do you anticipate it will be a relief? A longing? And if it's a relief, I wonder if you'll be more relieved than your folks.

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