Former First Daughters Give Future First Daughters Advice On Life In The White House


Jenna and Barbara Bush have written an open letter to Sasha and Malia, telling them what to expect in their years at the White House, what they should seek out and what they should avoid.

The letter is actually very sweet; it makes the White House sound like the most magical place to grow up, full of both history and possibility. Jenna and Barbara remember what it was like to first enter the White House at age seven, and then return again at age 18. They reminisce on the vacations spent in DC, the years they spent playing house in the East sitting room and staging plays in the grand ballroom. They offer some advice to Sasha and Malia from “two sisters who have stood where you will stand and who have lived where you will live,” including:

If you’re traveling with your parents over Halloween, don’t let it stop you from doing what you would normally do. Dress up in some imaginative, elaborate costume (if you are like us a pack of Juicy Fruit and a Vampiress) and trick-or-treat down the plane aisle.


If you ever need a hug, go find Ramsey. If you want to talk football, look for Buddy. And, if you just need a smile, look for “Smiley.”

And what may be the best advice:

Go to anything and everything you possibly can: the Kennedy Center for theater, State Dinners, Christmas parties (the White House staff party is our favorite!), museum openings, arrival ceremonies, and walks around the monuments. Just go. Four years goes by so fast, so absorb it all, enjoy it all!

Sasha and Malia are going to grow up in the public eye, facing constant scrutiny and receiving more attention than they are probably ready for. We have only just seen the beginning of this with the media madness surrounding their first day of school. However, this letter is refreshingly not about that. On such an exciting day, it seems right that Jenna and Barbara are cautioning the Obama girls on how to be kids living in the White House, and how to fully enjoy their father’s historic presidency without losing sight of the magic of their surroundings.

Playing House in the White House [WSJ]

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