MARQUETTE, Mich. – After years of zealously guarding his twin daughters' privacy, President Bush (search) has turned a public spotlight on them by making both active players in his re-election.
Daughter Barbara Bush (search) gingerly stepped out as a campaigner with her father Tuesday, while twin sister Jenna jets off to Alabama and Georgia on Wednesday to raise money with her mother. Jenna's debut came Friday when she accompanied the president on a bus tour through Pennsylvania.
The sisters also work at the president's re-election headquarters in Arlington, Va., though campaign aides are vague about their roles.
The president held Barbara's hand as he left the White House Tuesday morning, personally escorting his 22-year-old-daughter onto the campaign trail.
Barbara said nothing publicly and tried to find her footing in the delicate choreography of a presidential event. She waited for her father to escort her up the steps of Air Force One as they left Andrews Air Force Base in the morning, and she stood at a respectful remove while Bush posed for photos in Minnesota with a member of the military. Eventually, Bush gestured for her to step in and join them.
The young woman who recently graduated from Yale University (search) stood just behind her father at a rally in Michigan. She wore a stylish tan jacket and powder-blue pants through the day.
"I love that you're here, darlin'!" Bush said at their second campaign stop, in Duluth, Minn.
Barbara and Jenna make a splash in August with a pictorial layout in Vogue magazine, posing in vivid hues of silk and satin. Barbara Bush said she wanted to be a participant in her father's re-election.
"It's not like he called me up and asked me," Jenna said in the Vogue interview. "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."
The president told the magazine: "The thing I'm most excited about is that I get to spend the last campaign of my life with two girls I love. It's an experience we'll be able to talk about for years to come."
The girls' grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush, writes them "very, very sweet letters," Barbara told Vogue, "and now he's into e-mail."
The former president has a complaint, though: "It takes them a month to answer. They're very naughty girls."