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The Republican Convention

Bush Twins Make Irreverent Debut

The president's daughters win laughs as they poke fun at family and rivals.

September 01, 2004|Robin Abcarian | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Jenna and Barbara Bush, the 22-year-old twin daughters of President Bush, had their national coming-out party of sorts Tuesday night here at the Republican National Convention with a speech that was more comedy routine than sentimental journey.

Their moment in the spotlight came as they introduced their father, who appeared via television and spoke briefly to the delegates in Madison Square Garden.

Displaying a sense of humor and even a bit of silliness, the young women, who graduated from college this year, joked about their parents, their grandmother and even California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom they followed in the program.

"We love Arnold," Jenna said. "Isn't he awesome? Thanks to him, if one of us ever decides to marry a Democrat, nobody can complain. Except maybe our grandmother Barbara." Barbara Bush was sitting nearby, next to her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, and seemed to be enjoying the twins' performance.

"We already know she doesn't like some of our clothes, our music or most of the TV shows we watch," Jenna continued. "She thinks 'Sex in the City' is something married people do but never talk about."

Alternating lines, the Bush twins said since they had finished college -- Jenna attended the University of Texas, Barbara attended Yale -- they thought they might be able to find work at the White House.

"We knew we had something to offer," Barbara said. "I mean, we've traveled the world.... But when we started coming home with foreign policy advice, Dad made us call Condi" (Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security advisor). Barbara also revealed that her parents' favorite endearment for each other is "Bushie."

The twins, whose speech was punctuated with raucous laughter from the audience, made a joking reference to the speech given in Boston by a daughter of their father's opponent, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry. Alexandra Kerry told a story about how her father rescued the family hamster, Licorice, when its cage fell in the water.

"We had a hamster too," Barbara said. "Let's just say ours didn't make it."

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