Seeking Mrs. First Lady:

| September 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

A Light Hearted Talk With La Verle Mitrovich

I asked Patty Ducey-Brooks if she would mind republishing this article that ran in the June 2006 issue of the Presidio Sentinel.  Patty agreed since it brings to light more memories of George Mitrovich, who passed away this past July 2019.  La Verle has played a prominent role in George’s life and knew him better than any of us.  This is a reminder of her sense of humor and their relationship.

Laura:            La Verle in the April 2006 issue of the Presidio Sentinel, your husband, George Mitrovich announced his candidacy for president.  Did he get your opinion – or permission?

LV: No. If he really gets serious, I’m outta here! 

Laura: Well, I hope that was a joke.  What do you really think?

LV: George would be a good representative.  He has a ton of energy for the job. He is a true intellectual, too…a deep thinker. But I have more common sense.

Laura: Do you agree with his platform?

LV: Breaking up the government?  All those people he named? Our daughter-in-law for head of the Security and Exchange Commission!  He’ll get his wrist slapped for nepotism.

Laura: Are you excited about the possibility of becoming First Lady?

LV: Excited? Try “dread!” I’m too private…too shy.  I’d be terribly unpopular.

Laura: Maybe you can make it up with good works?

LV: If I could go to Darfur to see how I could help make Americans care about that situation – or other parts of Africa on eliminating AIDS, that would be my mission as First Lady.

Laura: First Ladies can be powerful. What do you think of your predecessors?

 LV: Mamie Eisenhower was the typical military wife for those times. She was always “in her place.”

Jackie Kennedy: Fabulous!

Nancy Reagan: Okay, even thought she caused a little trouble for Ronnie with her fortune tellers.

I admire Rosalynn Carter. She gets out and works. She’s a strong ally to Jimmy.

Laura Bush would do more if she could. I think it’s important to her to support her husband, and that may hamper her activities.  Still her work for literacy has been commendable.

Laura: Laura Bush wasn’t exactly supportive in her public opposition to the President over the National Anthem’s translation into Spanish.  He said no. She said yes.

LV: I’m betting she got his permission.  That’s what I might have had to do. Maybe she drew some courage from Condi Rice.

Laura: The president-elect’s wife on “West Wing,” the TV show, seems pretty apprehensive about life in the White House.  How would you feel about having that willing staff at your disposal?

LV: I have a hard time telling my cleaning lady what to do.

I grew up on a farm in Spokane, and always worked hard. I baked a cake every Saturday for Sunday dinner. Every week I cleaned the second story and my mother cleaned the first story. It’s easier to do things myself.

Laura: George, though, must be eager to have the help of a staff?

LV: I don’t know. George is independent, self-sufficient, never needs “waiting on.”

Laura: Is that the secret of your half-century marriage?

LV: It’s not as if we’re the same. I’m slow to anger then stay angry forever. George flares up in an instant; then, it’s gone in a nanosecond.

George may be difficult, but he’s caring…hates to see injustice, and hates to see people used. He can laugh at himself – otherwise, he’d be insufferable. Fortunately, he’s good about apologizing.

We met when my friend introduced us. Then she whispered to me, “He’s really stuck on himself!” (Sigh) I’m very tolerant.

Laura: George has been lampooned about his notorious “name dropping.” Do you help him remember all those people?

LV:  He doesn’t need me for that. Believe it or, George knows all the people whose names he drops. And, if he doesn’t, he’ll meet them. He’ll walk right up to just about anybody, introduce himself and then –voila! He “knows” them! I couldn’t ever do that. I’d die of embarrassment first.

Laura: Y’know, I’m very hurt that George didn’t name me his communications director. He knows me, and what I can do. What can Charles Steinberg do that I can’t?  I’ve probably been in the business longer.

LV: I could make you my communications director. How’s that?

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