| Sister act: Barbara (left) and Jenna Bush
Washington, July 14: For four years they have shunned the public spotlight. No more.
Barbara and Jenna Bush, now 22-year-old college graduates, are the stars of a Vogue magazine spread that hits newsstands today, in which they publicly embrace their status as scions of political royalty.
Jenna, draped in a strapless, cranberry-colored Oscar de la Renta gown, poses with a half-grin and shows off a Harry Winston bracelet. Barbara, on the opposite page, flashes a movie-star smile and wears a strapless, champagne-colored Calvin Klein gown.
The spread, headlined “Sister Act,” was shot in May. It comes as the twins dip their toes ever so gradually into their father’s re-election campaign.
“It’s not like he called me up and asked me,” Jenna told Vogue writer Julia Reed, explaining how she decided to help her father after a lifetime of steering clear of politics. “They’ve never wanted to throw us into that world, and I think our decision probably shocked them. But I love my dad, and I think I’d regret it if I didn’t do this.”
Jenna made her first campaign trail appearance Friday, joining President Bush on a bus tour of central Pennsylvania. She will introduce her mother, First Lady Laura Bush, at two closed-door events today, in her first campaign-related speeches. Barbara campaigned with her father on Tuesday in Michigan and Minnesota.
The Vogue article is mostly a glowing take on the twins’ coming of age. White House and campaign officials said Tuesday that the Vogue interview and the appearances on the campaign trail were decisions made entirely by the twins — but the officials were pleased with the results.
“The President and Mrs. Bush think that their daughters look great in the photo shoot and thought it was a great interview,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesperson for Laura Bush.
Doug Wead, a former adviser to the Bush family who has written a book on presidential children, said the Vogue spread shows the twins have finally grown up and into their place in the political world. “Barbara was voted most likely to appear on the cover of Vogue when she was in high school, so, hey, dreams are coming true,” Wead said.
That may be. But while the twins get seven pages in the magazine, the cover went to Priscilla Presley, her daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, and Lisa Marie’s daughter.