Laura Bush refuses to rehearse any more family conversations

Laura Bush listens
to her husband

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Laura Bush has upset the president, say White House insiders, by refusing to rehearse any more conversations among the family.

"If he tells me to follow the script one more time, I'll belt him," the first lady told your humble correspondent.

"I can understand why he might want to script meetings with soldiers, and 'town hall' meetings," Mrs. Bush said, "But why do the girls and I have to do it?"

The first lady stopped attending rehearsals two weeks ago, after what she describes as "the last straw."

"It was dinner time" Mrs. Bush said. "When Georgie walked in, I said 'Welcome home.'"

"He just looked at me. I realized I'd broken the rule -- 'Don't address the president unless he speaks first.'"

"I tried to recover by asking how his day was, but I hadn't submitted the question in advance."

"'Well,' he said, 'Looks like we've got a spunky one here.'"

"I dumped the mashed potatoes on his pointy little head."

The White House denied family members are asked to rehearse conversations. In an unusual move, a Bush daughter spoke for the White House.

"Jenna (with feeling): 'Our father would never ask us to rehearse conversations,'" said Jenna Bush.

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