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CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) — Jenna Bush, one of President Bush’s twin daughters, is engaged to be married to her longtime boyfriend, Henry Hager, the White House announced Thursday.
Asked if the two were getting married in the Rose Garden, Sally McDonough, press secretary for first lady Laura Bush, replied: “They have not set any details, date or place.”
Jenna Bush, 25, and Hager, 29, were engaged Wednesday in Maine, she said.
The two have been dating for several years, and Hager is often seen at Jenna Bush’s side at Bush family functions and formal events, such as a White House dinner in November 2005 in honor of Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Hager will be returning to school this fall to complete his master’s degree in business administration at the University of Virginia. He has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University.
Hager, who has been a White House aide and worked on Bush’s re-election campaign, is the son of John and Maggie Hager of Richmond, Va. His father is chairman of the Republican Party in Virginia, former assistant secretary of the Education Department’s office of special education, former lieutenant governor of Virginia and former director of Virginia’s Office of Commonwealth Preparedness.
After earning a degree in English in 2004 from the University of Texas at Austin, Jenna Bush spent a year and a half teaching at Elsie Whitlow Stokes, a public charter elementary school in the Washington area. After that, she worked for 10 months in Latin America as an intern for UNICEF. She worked with adolescents in Argentina, Paraguay and Panama, where she taught at a shelter.
She spent this summer teaching at the charter school and traveling to Africa with her mother, first lady Laura Bush. She and her mother, also a schoolteacher, are collaborating on a children’s picture storybook to be published in spring 2008. Proceeds are to be donated to two education programs: Teach for America and The New Teacher Project.
Jenna Bush also has her own book coming out Sept. 28. “Ana’s Story,” based on her time working for UNICEF, tells of a 17-year-old single mother who is HIV positive. Some of the book proceeds will go to UNICEF.
The twins, each named for a grandmother, spent most of Bush’s first term avoiding the media glare but didn’t always succeed.
There was an embarrassing run-in with the law in Texas for underage drinking in May 2001, their father’s first year in the White House. It was Jenna Bush’s second offense for violating state alcoholic beverage laws, coming after a no contest plea two weeks earlier, and the first for Barbara, who holds a degree in humanities from Yale University.
And Jenna, full of spunk, was photographed sticking her tongue out at the media during a campaign stop in Missouri in 2004.
The last time there was a White House wedding was in 1994.
The Rose Garden was crammed with 250 chairs and a white canopy for the wedding of Nicole Boxer, daughter of Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Tony Rodham, the younger brother of then first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, now a senator from New York and Democratic presidential hopeful.
In 1971, President Nixon’s daughter, Tricia, was married in style to Harvard law student Edward Cox. She walked down the staircase of the columned South Portico and danced at a reception in the ornate East Room.
Other presidential daughters to have all or part of their weddings at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue include: President Johnson’s daughter, Luci Baines Johnson Nugent, who had her wedding reception at the White House in August 1966, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, who married her husband in the East Room in December 1967; and Alice Roosevelt Longworth, the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was wed at the White House in the early 1900s.
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