July 22, 2004

Girls Gone Wild

Jenna and Barbara Bush, the daughters of our incumbent president, have decided to hit the campaign trail on behalf of Dear Old Dad. Neither possesses the political fire of Karenna Gore, who terrorized staffers and reporters during her father’s quest for the Big Office. But both have already learned that they’re fair game for a press that has all but declared itself opposed to their father’s re-election.

This is as it should be. The younger Gore got a free ride four years ago, but the rule in politics is this: If you play, you have to be ready to pay. We already know that the girls imbibe an occasional malt beverage, and that Jenna wants to teach fourth grade last year. We know Barbara is dating a classmate from Yale. Now, we’re going to find out if they’re as tough as their father. My guess is: You bet. George W. Bush wouldn’t let his daughters face the slings and arrows of outrageous reportage if he didn’t think they were up to the task. And if (and when) some snarky scribe goes over the line, just wait: The president will go Vesuvial — as all good fathers go when somebody picks on their girls.

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