Barbara Bush no longer considered herself Republican, according to new book

She served as both first and second lady of the United States, and was the mother of one president and a presidential candidate, but near the end of her life, she no longer considered herself a Republican.

This revelation is just one nugget from the new book, "The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty," written by USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page, who interviewed Bush frequently during the final six months of her life and was given access to her personal diaries.

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In an interview with Page in October 2017, said she was still a Republican. "When I asked her again four months later, in February 2018, she said, 'I'd probably say no today,' Page wrote.

Page called it a “stunning acknowledgment.”

Related: Barbara Bush: What you should know about the former first lady

“Barbara Bush had been one of the most recognizable faces of the Republican Party through two presidencies,” Page wrote. “She was the matriarch of one of the GOP’s leading families. But after (President Donald) Trump’s rise, she saw it as a party she could not continue to support, a party she no longer recognized — even as one of her grandsons, George P. Bush, was on the ballot as a Republican running for re-election as Texas land commissioner.”

A few other revelations from the book, according to Page, are below:

George H.W. Bush voted for Hillary Clinton

Barbara Bush was married to George H.W. Bush for more than 70 years. In all that time, he’d never supported a Democrat, the former first lady told page, until the 2016 election. The 41st president of the United States voted for Clinton. His wife wrote in the name of her son, Jeb Bush, who had campaigned to be the GOP nominee but lost to Trump.

She blamed Trump for her heart attack

In June 2016, an ambulance was called to the Bush home to take the family matriarch to the hospital. It wasn’t really a heart attack, but Barbara Bush called it that. She had long suffered from congestive heart failure and chronic pulmonary disease.

“The tumultuous presidential campaign in general and Trump’s ridicule of son Jeb Bush in particular had riled her. ‘Angst,’ she told me,” Page wrote.

Credit: Pool

Credit: Pool

She urged Melania Trump to do what was best for herself and her son

Two weeks after the 2016 election the former first lady wrote to the incoming first lady, giving her advice similar to what she’d told the Clintons when they were moving into the White House with an only child.

"Dear Mrs. Trump, 
"The world thought I was writing this note to Bill Clinton. I am glad that I am not. I wanted to welcome you to the First Ladies very exclusive club. My children were older and there fore I did not have the problems you do. Whatever you decide to do is your business and yours alone. 
Living in the White House is a joy and their only job is to make you happy. 
"If you decide to stay in NYC that will be fine also. When you come to the White House let your son bring a friend. That is my unasked for advice. 
"God Bless you, 
Barbara Bush"

Page wrote that Barbara Bush did not hide her “discontent for the 45th president.”

By her bed, the former first lady kept a gift from a friend — a "red, white, and blue digital clock (that) displayed how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds remained in President Trump’s term."

According to Page, the clock stayed on Bush's bedside table or next to whatever chair she was sitting in until the day she died.

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