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Clutch the pearls! ‘Gammie’ Barbara Bush turns 90, reveals vitality secret

Outspoken Barbara Bush says she won't be talking during Jeb Bush's run. Right.


The indomitable Barbara Bush, the wife and mother of two former U.S. presidents named George, has turned 90, and the birthday wishes are pouring in.

|<image-caption><p>'Gammie' Barbara Bush</p></image-caption>|Reuters

And she’s making a doozy of a promise as another Bush, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, plans to announce he’s officially in the GOP nominating race for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

But first, she revealed her secret to her vitality.

In an NBC “Today” interview with her granddaughter, Jenna Hager Bush, she credits her trademark pearls.

"You're known for your pearls," Jenna said.

"The pearls are to cover the wrinkles, which they no longer do," said her grandma, who the family affectionately call “Gammie.” But "you can't wear pearls all over your face."


So what’s the big promise ahead of Jeb Bush’s announcement next week?

She say’s she’s planning to keep her penchant for being outspoken.

Two years ago, at the dedication of her husband’s presidential center in Dallas, she made her thoughts clear. As she usually.

“He's by far the best qualified man, but no. I really don't,” she said when asked if Jeb should give the 2016 campaign a go.

“I think it's a great country. There are a lot of great families, and it's not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes,” she said.

Now, she says, she’ll keep her mouth shut. It’s a promise we doubt she can keep. At least we’re hoping she won’t.


“I’ve promised that during this next campaign season, I will not talk,” Gammie told Jenna.No interviews, no tweets, no Instagram, she said on “Today."

“I’m not going to be musing about someone who does something stupid in the campaign,” she added.

“I’m going to stop voicing my opinion and sticking up for things I think are right. Except my boy. I think he’s brilliant.”

“I assume you mean Jeb,” the daughter of George W. asked

“Right,” said Gammie.


But she is keeping busy, launching a new $7 million literacy campaign just the other day and backing a contest to create a mobile app to help improve adult literacy skills. Literacy was her signature White House issue.

The interview took place at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, where a huge celebration is planned for later on Monday.

A YouTube video show family, friends, and celebs -- including Reba McEntire -- wishing Gammie the best.

As do we.

John A. Oswald is Metro's editor-at-large and can be found on Twitter - @nyc_oz.

 

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