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Michelle Obama sends a shout-out to Laura Bush

June 18, 2008 |  9:21 am

Michelle Obama revealed this morning that she's got a role model who many might consider an unlikely choice for her: Laura Bush.

Michelle Obama poses with the regular hosts of ABC In one of the highlights of her much-anticipated appearance on ABC's "The View," the prospective first lady told Barbara Walters and the show's four other regular hosts that she was "touched" by understanding words the current first lady recently directed her way.

Bush, in an interview with ABC News, had been asked to comment on the quote that continues to dog Obama -- her comment four months ago, as her husband grabbed the lead in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, that "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country."

Bush let her off the hook, saying, "I think she probably meant ‘I’m more proud.’ ... You have to be really careful in what you say because everything you say is looked at and in many cases misconstrued.”

We noted previously that Obama owed Bush a big thank you. And, it turns out, that's exactly how Obama reacted -- she said she has sent Bush a note expressing her appreciation.

She also said she's "taking some cues" from how the first lady has handled life in the political spotlight, praising her "calm, rational approach." (The Times' Johanna Neuman, writing for our new "Countdown to Crawford" blog, has more on Obama's comments here. And, because so many were eager to see how Michelle handled herself, so does our Show Tracker blog.)

Obama had sought to clarify her "proud" remark almost immediately but, not surprisingly, she was asked about it again today. She's pretty much got her answer down pat now, saying, "Of course, I'm proud of my country. Nowhere but in America could my story be possible."

What she was trying to express back in February, she added, was how proud she was of the "political process" and the interest the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had sparked.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: ABC

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