[From the Washington Post's Op-ed department]
By Ruth Marcus
Monday, April 17, 2006;
Dear Daughters Jenna and Barbara,
This is a difficult letter for me, your Dad, to write. The two of you have been, your mother and I agree, valuable members of my administration. Yes, there have been a few unfortunate moments -- actually, come to think of it, more than a few: the underage drinking bust; the next underage drinking bust; the sticking-out-the-tongue-at-the-photographers thing; the Valley Girl-style convention speech. Next time, please, girls, run it by Grandma, like she told you to in the first place.
Rambling a bit here. What I'd like to say is that all of us at the White House deeply appreciate your service to your family and your country. It can't have been easy for you, posing for Vogue, getting chauffeured by the Secret Service and all. But, as you know, second terms are a time of transition in any administration. And we think it is the right moment, then, to make a change in First Daughters. Time for some fresh blue blood, you might say.
Please, girls, don't take this personally. Andy didn't, and he's been with the family almost as long. Definitely, we will spin this to the press as your decision entirely. You know, needing a break, this job chews you up, exhausted after five long years of late nights at Smith Point, want a chance to spend more time with your ... never mind, we'll go with the need-a-break part. And no one can take away from your achievements: You have been two of the longest-serving presidential daughter twins in history.
Anyway, the Josh-for-Andy swap didn't play quite as big as we hoped. Now, I'm getting killed with this general-a-day drumbeat on Rummy. So Uncle Don and Uncle Dick came up with this idea of replacing you two.
Naturally, Mommy and I were pretty reluctant, at first. But Uncle Don and Uncle Dick can be awfully persuasive -- especially when Uncle Dick's packing heat.
Your Gammy agrees. "Lose the twins," she said. "My 41 ditched Sununu." And you know there's no arguing with the Silver Fox once she's got her mind made up. She asked me to tell you it's nothing personal -- and for Pete's sake stop showing all that cleavage.
Dick wanted to roll this out the usual way: through Scooter. But Scooter's a little preoccupado, right now, you might say. We thought about leaking it to Woodward, but he'd probably just save it for the next book. So we're thinking Dr. Phil. Great female demographic.
You're probably wondering about the replacement. Grandpa had an idea about that. You know how he's been spending so much time hanging out with Bill Clinton lately that I've started calling him "my new brother"? Well, that got grandpa to thinking.
You probably know where this is heading, so I won't dwell too long on the topic of our new First Daughter.
Chelsea has graciously agreed to start on Friday.
Thanks again, girls, for all you've done. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you start this new, exciting chapter of your lives. Please be sure to stay in touch.
George W. Bush --- Dad
P.S. We want you to know it was a hard call whether to lose you or Karl. He really agonized over it.