After eight years in the White House, President Bush’s twin daughters are looking forward to a respite from Washington – if only for their father’s sake.
In a PEOPLE interview, Jenna Hager and Barbara Bush, both 27, reflect on the strain George W. Bush has been under. The twins also offer some advice to the Obamas’ daughters, Sasha and Malia, and Jenna’s new husband Henry Hager talks about bonding with the First Father-in-Law.
Jenna and Barbara, how have you seen your parents change over the last eight years?
Jenna: Eight years ago, my dad was a very popular Texas governor. And I think in Texas, he was able to get a lot done because he was friends with Democrats and Republicans – Democrats supported him. So he was – we were very optimistic. I think maybe I was a little naive about how people would treat him. But he’s never wavered in his decisions and he’s the same as he was when we were little, his ethics. So that’s something to be proud of in itself.
Barbara: And I would say we haven’t see our parents as people change that much, because they’ve stayed the same to us and they’ve, as Jenna said, have the same characteristics and ethics that they had all their life.
Jenna: He looks a little bit older, obviously. He’s been under a lot of stress, so we’re ready for him to go back to Texas and be warmly received, I’m sure.
Any advice for Sasha and Malia Obama?
Barbara: We gave them a tour. We were here when we were seven, which is Sasha’s age, when our grandfather was President, and so we know how fun it was to be that age in this house. And so we showed them our little secret, fun places.
Jenna: Well, sure, I mean, they’re a lot younger than we are, cuter than we are – all younger and cuter. We’re old news. Even the puppy.
Barbara: Even the puppy is going to be cuter. (Laughter.)
Henry, what’s it like hanging out with your in-laws?
Henry Hager: It’s been great, because I think it’s a testament to them that they can be completely down to earth, and family time really is family time. They’ve been very inclusive of my family. And we just have a great time together.
Do you and your father-in-law hang out?
Henry: We do.
What do you guys do?
Henry: We bike together. He usually leaves me. (Laughter) He’s a very good biker. Fish together; love to bass fish.
Jenna: He’s been waiting to have someone to do all these activities with him.