Jenna Bush is just not the Winnebago-driving type

The president's daughter explains why she's not fighting in Iraq.

By Tim Grieve
Published September 27, 2007 9:45PM (UTC)
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First daughter Jenna Bush tells ABC's Diane Sawyer that she understands why people might suggest that she and her sister should be fighting in her father's war in Iraq. But, she says, "I think there are many ways to serve your country. And I think ... what's most appropriate for me to do is to teach or to work in UNICEF and represent our country in Latin America. But, you know, I don't think it's a practical question. I think if people really thought about it, they know that we would put many people in danger. But I understand the point of it. I hope that I serve by being a teacher."

Bush will spend the next several months on a tour promoting her new book, "Ana's Story," and planning her wedding to her 28-year-old boyfriend, Henry Hager. Bush said Hager is "extremely outdoorsy" and is "trying to find a job where he can support the environment and ... and be outdoors."


That shouldn't be a problem, should it?

Update: Several readers have written in to say that it's unfair to suggest that Jenna Bush ought to be serving in Iraq. A couple of points: First, far from being a passive participant in the political scene, Jenna made an affirmative decision to campaign for her father's reelection in 2004. She and her sister introduced Bush at the 2004 Republican National Convention; they traveled with him during the campaign; and they made appearances on his behalf on college campuses. Having so publicly advocated her father's reelection, shouldn't Jenna be held accountable for the entirely predictable consequences of it? Second, while Jenna says that she'd be putting others at risk if she were to serve, other presidential offspring seem to have managed just fine, thank you. As a reader notes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's four sons all served in World War II.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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