President Bush Enrolls in Home Schooling; First Lady to Teach

"It's good to be a learner," says Bush.

HE WHITE HOUSE yesterday confirmed reports that President Bush has enrolled in home schooling and that First Lady Laura Bush will serve as Teacher to the President for the remainder of Bush's second term.

Press Secretary Scott McLellan said at yesterday's press briefing, "This works for everyone. For the President, who loves learning, for the First Lady, who misses teaching, and for the American people, who want their president to know stuff."

McLellan indicated that the White House library would be designated President Bush's classroom. The press secretary told reporters, "The President prefers the library because, as he said, 'That's where all the books are.' And I would agree with his assessment."

White House Press Corps reporter David Gregory asked whether Mrs. Bush had any concerns over teaching her own husband.

"None at all," replied McLellan. "She has ground rules, of course, but the President understands that."

When Gregory, known for his verbal tussles with McLellan, asked the Press Secretary to specify Laura Bush's ground rules, McLellan said, "Well, David, the First Lady says there will be no gum chewing, no slumping in the chair, and no late homework."

Gregory snapped back, "Scott, can't you give us more than a canned set of ground rules? This is the President we're talking about, not some 5th grader in public school."

McLellan, visibly irritated, replied, "Okay, David, just to make you happy, the First Lady also says that the President may not pat her on the behind for extra credit. Now can we get back to what's good for the country?"

Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas asked the press secretary what subjects President Bush would take during his first semester of home schooling.

Said Mr. McLellan, "Helen, the President, as you know, is open to all forms of reading, writing, and 'rithmetic, but he is not averse to music, shop, or gym."

Later in the day, the President was asked during a photo op how he felt about starting school.

"Feels great," answered the president, adding, "It's good to be a learner. Learning is where you go to get facts."