Bush addressed students at a symposium organized by government
professor Larry J. Sabato's (seated, right) Youth Leadership
stumps for involvement in politics
Former first lady
Barbara Bush appealed to students and community members to "get
involved" in politics during a visit to U.Va. Feb. 9. Bush
spoke to a standing-room-only crowd in Newcomb Hall Ballroom on
her experiences as first lady and the role of today's youth in
politics. "I came to encourage you to learn as much as you
can about this great democracy," she said. "This election
is more about your future than your parents."
also addressed the issue of public disillusionment with politics
and politicians, and urged the young people in the audience to
change that climate. "We need energy, ideas and youthful
enthusiasm," said Bush, guest speaker of U.Va.'s Youth Leadership
Initiative Symposium Series, founded two years ago by the Center
for Governmental Studies at the University.
program was started "to do something about the decline in
political activism," said Larry J. Sabato, center director
and professor of government and foreign affairs. It now reaches
many of Virginia's school-age children through student debates,
a web site and mock elections -- including the nation's largest
Internet election in history, held Oct. 27.
accompanied on stage by Sabato and Virginia's first lady Roxanne
Gilmore, spoke only briefly of her son George W. Bush's campaign
for the presidency during her talk.