Why Jenna Bush Hager Is “Emotional” Over Malia, Sasha Obama Growing Up

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Jenna Bush Hager knows a thing or two about growing up as the daughter of a U.S. President.


In fact, this month marked 14 years since Jenna—daughter of George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush—drove from her teaching job in Maryland to give the daughters of the next sitting President, Barack Obama, a tour of their new home at the White House in 2008. Now, looking back on that moment of herself alongside a then 10-year-old Sasha Obama and a 7-year-old Malia Obama, Jenna can’t help gush over how far they’ve come.


“I can’t believe it,” the Today With Jenna & Hoda co-host exclusively told E! News. “You know, they were the same age that we were when my grandfather [George H. W. Bush] became president. They were first and fourth graders.” It’s a recollection that serves as a full circle moment for Jenna, who shares kids Mila, 9, Poppy, 7, and Hal, 3, with husband Henry Chase Hager.


“I have first and fourth graders,” she shared. “Fourteen years ago, those little babies were just twinkles in my eyes when I was a teacher in Baltimore, Maryland.” Referring to Today, she added, “I did not have this job quite yet.”

It’s simply a moment in time that Jenna will never forget. In fact, just two years ago, the author reflected on that very same tour, sharing on Instagram that she and her twin sister Barbara Bush “taught the girls how to slide down the banister and all the secrets of the White House we loved as little girls—the best hiding spots, the movie theatre, and bowling alley.”

And as Jenna told E! News, watching the daughters of Barack and Michelle Obama becoming adults with their own lives has been a joy to witness.


“To see them grow up to be incredible women, independent women—I mean, I think we knew they would be,” she added. “We saw those bright lights even then. But to think about how much their lives—and mine have changed in fourteen years, makes me so proud, slightly emotional. I can’t believe it’s been fourteen years.”

(Today and E! are part of the NBCUniversal family).

Watch E! News Mondays through Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., only on E!.

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