Bush twins to Obama sisters: 'We'll be rooting for you'

Bush twins pen touching letter to Obama sisters: We'll be rooting for you

When Malia and Sasha Obama first arrived at the White House, they may have relied on the advice of their predecessors — another pair of sisters who knew a thing or two about growing up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Back then, Jenna and Barbara Bush penned a letter offering advice for the young Obama girls as their father took over the Oval Office.

Eight years later, the twin daughters of President George W. Bush have once again reached out to the Obama sisters, this time offering advice on another transition very few in the world ever make: leaving the White House and moving on to civilian life.

In their newest letter to Malia and Sasha, published Thursday in Time magazine, Barbara and Jenna reminisce about meeting the then 7- and 10-year-old Obama girls at the White House on a cold November day. They gave them a tour of bedrooms that once belonged to them and showed them how to slide down the banister of the solarium.

"In eight years, you have done so much. Seen so much," the Bush sisters write, noting Malia and Sasha's meeting with Nelson Mandela in the cell where he was imprisoned for decades, as well as trips with their mother to Liberia and Morocco to speak with girls about the importance of education.

"We have watched you grow from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease. And through it all you had each other. Just like we did," they say.

"Now you are about to join another rarified club, one of former First-Children — a position you didn't seek and one with no guidelines. But you have so much to look forward to. You will be writing the story of your lives, beyond the shadow of your famous parents, yet you will always carry with you the experiences of the past eight years."

The Bush sisters stress to Sasha, now 15, and Malia, 18, that there is much to look forward to, but urge them to keep close in their hearts the experiences of the past two terms.

They urge them to never forget the people who dedicated their lives to making the White House a history home — including the florists, the grounds-keepers and the butlers.

"Our greeter as 7-year-olds at our grandfather's inauguration was Nancy, the White House florist, who ushered us in from the cold. She helped us make colorful bouquets of winter flowers for our grandparents' bedside," the Bush sisters write. "Twenty years later, Nancy did the flowers for Jenna's wedding. Cherish your own Nancy."

And as Malia prepares to attend college this fall at Harvard, while Sasha remains in Washington to finish high school, they encourage the sisters to enjoy this youthful period of their lives.

"And you won't have the weight of the world on your young shoulders anymore. Explore your passions. Learn who you are. Make mistakes — you are allowed to."

"Enjoy college. As most of the world knows, we did," they say, a nod to the much-reported brushes with the law both Bush twins experienced while drinking underage.

Most importantly, Jenna and Barbara urge the Obama sisters to continue surrounding themselves with loyal and fiercely protective friends.

"Those who judge you don't love you, and their voices shouldn't hold weight. Rather, it's your own hearts that matter," they say.

The Bush twins also encouraged Malia and Sasha to find ways to incorporate the lessons they have learned over the past eight years into their futures. In particular, they noted the impact of one particular meeting abroad with a young HIV-positive girl who grew sick while waiting for antiretroviral drugs that could save her life.

"After meeting this girl, Barbara went back to school and changed her major, and her life's path," the Bush twins wrote.

Barbara went on to become the founder and chief executive of Global Health Corps. (Jenna is a TODAY correspondent.)

"You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them," the Bush sisters conclude in their letter.

"You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines. Your parents, who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world. As always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter. And so will we."

© David Woo. George W. Bush Hugging Daughters


Bush sisters write emotional letter to Malia, Sasha Obama

After one of the most bitterly fought presidential elections of recent memory, where bipartisan unity of any kind has been hard to find, one bright spot has been the warm relations between the Bush and Obama families.

That bond was further strengthened Thursday when Jenna Bush Hager and sister Barbara wrote an open letter to first daughters Sasha and Malia, welcoming them as the newest members of the former first children's club.

The 2017 letter, published on Time's website, bookended the one they wrote back in 2009, in which they implored Obama's daughters to "remember who your dad really is" amid all the news stories and Saturday Night Live sketches that would surely follow over the next four or eight years.

The 2009 piece was a junior version of the traditional note left by outgoing presidents for their successors. Their grandfather wrote one for Bill Clinton and their father did the same for Barack Obama.

In Thursday's update, the Bushes recalled the first meeting between the four girls at the White House in November 2008 and wandering the halls — as well as sliding down the banister of the solarium.

"Now you are about to join another rarified club, one of former First Children — a position you didn’t seek and one with no guidelines," they wrote. "But you have so much to look forward to. You will be writing the story of your lives, beyond the shadow of your famous parents, yet you will always carry with you the experiences of the past eight years."

The Bush twins, who were away at the University of Texas and Yale during their father's first term, advised the teenagers to "enjoy college. As most of the world knows, we did. And you won’t have the weight of the world on your young shoulders anymore. Explore your passions. Learn who you are. Make mistakes — you are allowed to."

But they also confessed that their time in the White House had taught them more than any of their college classes did. In fact, Barbara revealed that she had changed her college major and career path after accompanying their parents on a trip to Burma, where they saw the life-changing potential of antiretroviral drugs for the country's HIV-positive children.

Barbara now leads a public-health nonprofit, Global Health Corps, which she co-founded. It provides fellowships for young professionals in the U.S. and Africa aimed at improving health equity.

They also called on the Obama girls to remember the people who work in the White House residence and to stay in touch with them — even their omnipresent Secret Service protection details.

"They were part of growing up for us: there for first dates, first days and even an engagement and a honeymoon. We know it wasn’t always easy — the two of you and the two of us were teenagers trailed by men in backpacks — but they put their lives on hold for us."

They also looked forward to seeing what the Obama women do next. Malia graduated from high school at Sidwell Friends this spring and is taking a gap year before attending Harvard University while Sasha still has two more years of high school left to go, which is the primary reason her parents are staying in Washington.

"You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them. You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines. Your parents, who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world. As always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter. And so will we."


The Bush sisters shared some post White House advice with the Obama sisters in a heartfelt letter

Former president George Bush’s daughters have written an open letter to the Obama sisters sharing some advice on life after the White House.

Barbara and Jenna Bush penned a heartfelt note to Malia and Sasha in Time Magazine, in which they shared their wisdom on what was to come after their father’s presidency came to an end.

The Bush twins, 35, recalled the moment the sisters first met each other on the steps of the White House, after which they gave the 10 and seven-year-old Obamas a tour of their new home.

They spoke of showing the young girls their new bedroom, introducing them to all the house staff, and watched on as they slid down the banister of the solarium.

“In eight years, you have done so much. Seen so much,” Barbara and Jenna wrote. “We have watched you grow from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease.”

The Bush girls spoke of their admiration for the president’s daughters as they embarked on various journeys: standing at the gates of Robben Island, talking to young girls in Libya and Morocco about the importance of education and attending state events – all while just being kids.

“Now you are about to join another rarified club, one of former First Children — a position you didn’t seek and one with no guidelines. But you have so much to look forward to,” Barbara and Jenna wrote.

“You will be writing the story of your lives, beyond the shadow of your famous parents, yet you will always carry with you the experiences of the past eight years.”

The twins urged Malia and Sasha to explore their passions, learn who they are and never worry about making mistakes. Most importantly, they advised the Obama girls to continue to surround themselves with loyal, protective friends as “those who judge you don’t love you, and their voices shouldn’t hold weight”.

Barbara and Jenna told the First Children to take all they’ve seen, bear in mind all they’ve learned and remember all those they’ve met, before undoubtedly making positive changes to the world.

The letter concluded: “You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them. You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines.

“Your parents, who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world. As always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter. And so will we.”

0 Response to "Bush twins to Obama sisters: 'We'll be rooting for you'"