updated 4/27/2005 5:07:03 AM ET 2005-04-27T09:07:03

Despite her popularity, first lady Laura Bush says she’s not interested in running for higher office.

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Bush made the declaration Tuesday, telling “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno that she has no aspirations for holding office and doesn’t even pay much attention to her approval ratings — though she tracks her husband’s.

The first lady’s approval rating hovered around 80 percent in February, according a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll, the most recent taken. By contrast, the president’s overall approval rating is at 47 percent, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday shows.

Does Bush ever taunt her husband because her ratings are higher?

“No, but I might,” she told Leno on Tuesday’s program.

Leno asked Bush if she would consider a political run of her own.

“No,” she replied. “But I know this is the seat that people announce for governor of California” — a reference to actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s declaration on the show in 2003 that he planned to run for governor. He won.

'You're a very understanding wife'
The first lady, who has appeared on the “Tonight Show” four times since President Bush was elected, was in Southern California to visit schools and promote an education initiative for at-risk youth.

During the show, the former teacher and librarian talked about her recent trip to Afghanistan.

“It was an honor to be able to bring the best wishes of American women to the women of Afghanistan,” she said.

At one point, Leno ribbed the first lady about recent television footage showing her husband and a Saudi diplomat holding hands, asking if she ever became jealous.

“It was actually very sweet,” Bush laughed.

“You’re a very understanding wife,” cracked Leno.

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