Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bush Twins Letter to Malia and Sasha: Sweet!


Since Ronald Regan's departure from the White House, it's been the tradition of outgoing presidents to leave a private note for the incoming president. I wonder what former President George W. Bush had to say to President Barack Obama. Always take out the trash and watch your back, perhaps? Maybe Bush told Obama a good joke with the final words, "So long, sucker!" I doubt that, but certainly Obama's stepped into the fire and Bush into the sunset.

For the Obama children, Sasha and Malia, better than a note from the former president was a note from the former first kids, pictured at left. The outgoing Bush twins made history leaving a public message for the incoming youngsters, and I think that's sweet.

Jenna and Barbara Bush's wisdom for Sasha and Malia is a letter entitled "Playing House in the White House" at The Wall Street Journal.

CNN and other news outlets are loving this story and giving background on the twins:
The twin daughters of former President Bush were 7 when their grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush, was inaugurated, and 20 when their father became president. (CNN)
It's wonderful to see people do something genuinely nice, and seeing the older Bush girls extend a warm hand to the Obama children gives us more hope that if we try, we can cast aside pettiness and get along in this nation, be civil. It also lets me know that whatever my disagreements are with Bush's policies, he's produced thoughtful daughters.

I hope Malia and Sasha read this gift from Jenna and Barbara Bush carefully and heed their advice. Some of the twins' tips are universal:
-- Surround yourself with loyal friends. They'll protect and calm you and join in on some of the fun, and appreciate the history (Jenna and Barbara)
We all need a good support group, and Sasha and Malia will need more support than their parents and the First Grandma may be able to give. The road ahead may get fairly bumpy for the first African-American family to live in the White House.

The twins' daddy has taken a lot of heat, but that will seem like a matchstick's flame compared to the blaze Obama will face. There are opponents who refuse to give him a chance, and naturally, while Obama has friends among his fellow Democrats, he'll still have opposition in his own party -- some open, some cloaked. On top of this, the number of threats to his personal safety and the rumors spread by paranoid people on the fringe may surpass the number of threats and rumors aimed at past presidents.

The following advice from the twins is touching:
And finally, although it's an honor and full of so many extraordinary opportunities, it isn't always easy being a member of the club you are about to join. Our dad, like yours, is a man of great integrity and love; a man who always put us first. We still see him now as we did when we were seven: as our loving daddy. Our Dad, who read to us nightly, taught us how to score tedious baseball games. He is our father, not the sketch in a paper or part of a skit on TV. Many people will think they know him, but they have no idea how he felt the day you were born, the pride he felt on your first day of school, or how much you both love being his daughters. So here is our most important piece of advice: remember who your dad really is.
For a while there all we heard of the Bush twins is that they liked to party like dear old dad, sometimes ditching the Secret Service. Today it appears they've matured into accomplished young ladies.

According to WSJ, Jenna is a writer who's already produced a book. After reading this letter to Malia and Sasha, I give her a thumbs up on talent. Her sister, Barbara, works for a nonprofit.

Throughout the letter the twins share memories of what it was like coming of age in the White House and have other little tips about loving puppies and White House staff. Beautiful. You may read the full text of the twins' letter at The Wall Street Journal.

Over all, I've liked how the Bush family's helped the Obama family move into the White House. I'm not a fan of the former president, but I'll praise him when he deserves it. His daughters are feathers in his cap.

1 comment:

Ceallach said...

I agree, at first, I thought who are they to dispense advice.

But the advise is sound, well thought out, and the last bit about who their father is, in fact, is quite wise and profound.