Barb and Jenna Live

It was a remarkable night, an evening which gave us one young lady on her way to stardom, and another young lady in desperate need of a rich husband. Jenna and Barbara Bush, that is, making their debut performance at a packed Republican National Committee house. Let's take a look at some of the clips and you'll see just what I mean. Here's the girls' intro.

"It's great to be here. We love Arnold. Isn't he awesome?", asks Jenna. Barb licks her lips in agreement, while making a stroking motion with her hand. <applause and laughter>

"Thanks to him, if one of us ever decides to marry a Democrat, nobody can complain, except maybe our grandmother, Barbara." <pan to a scowling Grannie Bush> "And if she doesn't like it, we would definitely hear about it. <laughs> We already know she doesn't like some of our clothes, our music, or most of the TV shows we watch. <Jenna looks on the verge of tears> Gammie, we love you dearly, but you're just not very hip. <laughter> She thinks Sex and the City is something married people do, but never talk about." <huge laughter>

The perky Jenna Bush already has the crowd eating out of her hand. Great sense of timing, and you had to love the Gammie line. Tragically, Barbara has already reached her high point of the night with the tongue gesture. Let's move along.

Barb now gets her opportunity to speak.

"Jenna and I are really not very political, but we love our dad too much to stand back and watch from the sidelines. <applause> We realized that this would be his last campaign, and we wanted to be a part of it. <The audience is ready for more Jenna>. Besides, since we've graduated from college, we're looking around for something to do for the next few years." <polite laughter> Kind of like dad. <politer laughter. Jenna shoves Barbara to the side and the audience applauds>

Well now, that wasn't very funny, was it? Don't take my word for it, listen to the audience. Now let's see what the girls can do working together.

Jenna: "Our parents have always encouraged us to be independent and dream big. We've spent a lot of time at the White House, so when we showed up the first day, we thought we had it all figured out. But apparently my dad already has a chief of staff, named Andy." <huge laughs>

Barbara: "When your dad's a Republican and you go to Yale, you learn to stand up for yourself. <pause for applause> You can tell that people are wondering, 'Did she really go to Yale?' I knew I wasn't quite ready to be president, but number two sounded pretty good. <crickets chirping> Who is this man they call Dick Cheney?" <pan to an old man angrily shaking his fist>

Whoo. Talk about stinking up the house. The beautiful Jenna gets the audience rocking, and Barb just brings them crashing back to earth. Well, thumbs down to you, Barbara. And welcome the new queen of funny, the lovely and talented Jenna Bush. I'll take you out now with one last clip.

"We had a hamster, too," Barbara says, in one of the show's more somber moments. "Let's just say ours didn't make it." <quiet crickets>

There is probably nothing sadder in a child's life than when the youngster loses a pet. Jenna instinctively knows this, and interrupts Barb in mid-routine. Turning her rap to Ma and Pa Bush, Jenna tells the audience "They do know the difference between mono and Bono. When we tell them we're going to see OutKast, they know it's a band and not a bunch of misfits. And if we really beg them, they'll even shake it like a Polaroid picture." <scattered laughs>

Most of the audience has no idea what the Outkast reference meant, but they do know that Bono was that funny looking Irish guy who went to Africa with that old fool Paul O'Neil.

<laughter builds as audience starts to 'get it'.>

Maybe Jenna was saying that the former treasury secretary had a social disease. Say, isn't there a lot of AIDS over in Africa. I get it! Paul O'Neil is an outcast with AIDS. <Hahahahaha>.

And they've got pictures! <the hall erupts>.


2004, Mark Hoback