Jenna Bush Hager is all grown up. And excited and enthusiastic about becoming a Mom herself this Spring. Regardless of your political orientation, the President’s children are always part of our collective embrace, aren’t they? Hager, who was famously miscast as sticking her tongue out at the media when she was actually trying to lighten her father’s mood on the campaign trail, is now a contributing correspondent to NBC News, filing education stories once a month. Education was the reason for her visit to St. Louis last night, when she appeared at a fundraiser for the Marian Middle School, held at the Busch family mansion at Grant’s Farm. Her touch was light and warm and her stories inspiring.
As a Mom, I had to laugh when Hager talked about how she and her sister, Barbara, who #41 apparently refers to as “Junior”, tore into their mother Laura’s autobiography hoping to discover some deep dark secrets or at least ordinary transgressions. None. Nada. Zip! Hager got a big laugh when she said the juiciest thing she and her sisters discovered was that, as a girl, her mother dreamed of the perfect school pencils and fat wads of the perfect paper.
The conversation turned poignant when she talked about the Unicef trip to Latin America that led to her involvement with a young woman named Anna, who was living with AIDS and eventually became the inspiration for her book, Anna’s Story.
It isn’t hard to see why the Secret Service nicknamed her, “Twinkle.” And she didn’t hesitate to reveal the chagrin she still feels over the Cardinals’ loss to the Texas Rangers in 2011. (Remember her Dad, George W., was an owner)
At one point, it was hard to keep your Bushes straight. There was Trudi Busch (with a “c” as in Anheiser-Busch) Valentine introducing Jenna Bush Hager. Valentine said she could related to what it is like to live in a famous house (the Busch family seat at Grant’s Farm was built by Ulysses C. Grant.) And I enjoyed talking to Valentine on the side about her budding interest in the environment after last year’s devastating droughts took their toll on trees across Missouri.
Back to the political Bushes, Jenna Bush said her grandfather is feeling better and excited about Jenna’s pregnancy and reportedly sustained himself during his recent health scare with pork rinds and Martinis. And Grandma Barbara, who is a personal favorite, is thankfully as feisty as ever, according to her granddaughter. I just had to ask how she was doing since the last thing I heard the senior Barbara Bush say publicly, was that some Republicans seem to think “compromise” is a dirty word! To end on a political note, I would like to repeat what Jenna said about the Rangers loss to the Cardinals, since it may apply to to what a lot of Republicans were feeling after Romney’s loss. “We thought we had it in the bag but we can all be friends.” In other words, we still have work to do and we can work with the Democrats to get things done!