WASHINGTON — President George W. Bush is relishing the chance to see "the klieg lights shift somewhere else," although he admits he'll miss perks like White House cooking and flying on Air Force One.
"Frankly, I'm not going to miss the limelight all that much," Bush said in an intimate family conversation with his sister, Doro Bush Koch, about how he'll feel when he leaves the White House to make way for Barack Obama on Jan. 20.
"Been a fabulous experience to be president," Bush told Doro in the conversation recorded for the oral-history organization StoryCorps. But he said he'll be ready to go when the time comes.
Bush did acknowledge in the Nov. 12 conversation _ aired Thursday on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" _ that he would miss the trips on the presidential jet and not having to worry about traffic. He and first lady Laura Bush both agreed in the talk that they would miss the chefs at the Executive Mansion, but disagreed about who would be in charge of meals when they move back to Texas in January.
"I'm sure I'm going to lose a lot of weight, because Laura's going to be the cook," Bush deadpanned. The first lady responded, "You're going to be the person grilling, though, I think."
The president also said he would miss spending time with his sister, who lives in the District of Columbia area.
"This is a job which, you know, obviously had a lot of stress to it; it has a lot of pressure," Bush said. "But when you're around your family at all, all that pales."
Since 2003, the nonprofit StoryCorps has helped people record nearly 25,000 interviews at stationary booths in New York and with mobile operations traveling around the country. Participants receive a CD of their 40-minute interview, and all recordings are archived at the Library of Congress.