By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
The New York Times
CRAWFORD, Tex., Oct. 14 — This Saturday, a military jet with the code name “Bright Star” will take off from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, bound for a diplomatic mission in the Middle East. It will carry an increasingly outspoken and quietly powerful White House emissary: Laura Bush , the first lady of the United States.
The official purpose of the trip is to promote breast cancer awareness; nobody expects the president’s wife to engage in bare-knuckle negotiations over war and peace. Yet in the twilight of her husband’s presidency, the woman who once made George W. Bush promise she would never have to give a speech is stepping out in a new and unusually substantive way.
First Lady’s Influence Goes Global