*Monday on CNN, former first lady Laura Bush gave props on the performance of her husband’s successor, breaking with many Republicans by saying that she thinks President Obama is doing a good job under tough circumstances. The former first lady, who’s a former schoolteacher, defended Obama’s decision to deliver a back-to-school speech to students, putting her at odds with many conservatives afraid that the president will use the opportunity to advance his political agenda. “I think he is [doing a good job],” Bush said when asked to assess Obama’s job performance. “I think he has got a lot on his plate, and he has tackled a lot to start with, and that has probably made it more difficult.” Michelle Obama is also “doing great,” she said, in part by turning the White House into a comfortable home for her family. Referencing the uproar over Obama’s address to schoolchildren, which will be aired nationwide Tuesday, Laura Bush said it’s “really important for everyone to respect the president of the United States.” Bush didn’t completely dismiss the concerns of some conservatives but noted that controversial Education Department plans recommending that students draft letters discussing what they can do to help Obama had been changed. “I think there is a place for the president … to talk to schoolchildren and encourage” them, she said. Parents should follow his example and “encourage their own children to stay in school and to study hard and to try to achieve the dream that they have.” Bush indicated that she didn’t think it was fair for Obama to be labeled a “socialist” by critics and expressed her disappointment with the intensely polarized nature of contemporary American politics. Read MORE of this CNN interview/story HERE.