REMARKS BY THE FIRST LADY AND WIFE OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN, MRS. ABE AFTER A VISIT TO GEORGE WASHINGTON’S MOUNT VERNON ESTATE
Mount Vernon, Virginia, 1:51 P.M. EDT
MRS. BUSH: Well, I’m so happy to have the opportunity to welcome Mrs. Abe to Washington. Later this evening, President Bush and I, and Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Abe will have dinner together at the White House. But I thought it would be really fun for me, and I hope for her, too, to have this chance to visit Mount Vernon, the home of our first President. Mount Vernon, as you can tell from all the tourists you’ve already seen, is a very, very popular place for Americans to visit, but it’s also a popular place for Japanese tourists to come. And other Prime Ministers have been hosted — from Japan — has been hosted here, as well as members of the Japanese Royal Family.
So it’s a thrill to have this chance to bring Mrs. Abe to Mount Vernon.
MRS. ABE: (As translated.) I have met Mrs. Laura Bush during the APEC meeting, so this is the second time I am meeting her. And I was looking forward very much to coming to the United States.
I have been to Washington, D.C. many times, but this is my first visit to Mount Vernon. This is a place of history. And I heard that Mrs. Laura Bush liked this place very much, and I am so pleased that she has taken me to her favorite place.
And I have also been treated to a wonderful lunch. I understand that this is the place that honors the President of the United States, President Washington. I was very moved that many Americans, as well as many children, come here to study American history. And I think that is a wonderful thing.
Tonight I will have dinner with President Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House. I am looking forward to that very much, as well. And I think my two days here will be very meaningful.
Thank you very much, all.
MRS. BUSH: Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much, and welcome again.
I don’t have anything more to add. But I have a hunch that if Hillary wins the election, Bill is going to demand that “Ambassador to the World” title really, really fast — then get out of town — and hopefully never have to make anodyne comments like these.
— Steve Clemons