DAYTON — The year 1920 was big for women nationwide and in Dayton. Not only did women win the right to vote that year, Dayton was one of the first cities to form a League of Women Voters chapter.
The milestone was celebrated Saturday night with a dinner at the Dayton Art Institute.
USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page was the keynote speaker. She talked candidly about covering the past six US presidents, including Donald Trump, and her new book, The Matriarch, about the life of the late former First Lady, Barbara Bush.
Among Page’s revelations:
- the death of 3-year old Robin Bush from leukemia made her mother care less about what other people thought and become more compassionate. Barbara Bush as First Lady hugged AIDS-infected babies and adults at a time others were reluctant to do so.
- Barbara Bush "hated Nancy Reagan," who referred to the Bushes as "the shrubs."
- Mrs. Bush told Page she didn't like the title "The Matriarch" for the book about her. She said she'd prefer it be called "The Fat Lady Sings Again."
Page took questions from the audience, some who asked her about covering President Trump.
She called Trump “the most transparent president I’ve ever covered...he says what he thinks.” She said during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump was much more available to reporters than Hilary Clinton, which she said was a mistake for Clinton.
Page described covering Trump as “never boring,” but that she and the other White House reporters “never get a day off”—alluding to the president’s constant tweets.
Page is now under contract to write a book about US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and has already interviewed Pelosi a handful of times.
Page says the Speaker told her the story about ripping up the State of the Union speech.