Jenna: Mom's Record Collection Rocks
By Richard Leiby
Thursday, July 15, 2004; Page C03
A photo spread and interview in the August Vogue dutifully applies polish to the Bush daughters' personas -- no tabloid shots of boozy, dirty dancing here -- but readers do get a hint of mother Laura's shockingly countercultural music tastes. She sent twins Jenna and Barbara the Bob Dylan album "At Budokan" when they requested music at summer camp after sixth grade.
"Her record collection is awesome," Jenna tells Vogue. "She's got Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley. When we have parties at the ranch, we play them and all our friends love it."
Rastafari reggae in Crawford? Yah, mon!
Meanwhile, as the glamorous sistren venture out on the campaign trail, the question of their role looms. Are they going to be hand shakers? Smilers onstage who'll stay in the background? Or will they speak to the public as surrogates of their father?
Yesterday, during a visit to a summer reading program for second-graders in Hueytown, Ala., Jenna (the blonde) helped her mother read to the children and talked with them about her plan to become a fourth-grade teacher in the fall. Then later, in Birmingham, Jenna introduced the first lady at a private fundraising luncheon. No news was made.
Barbara, who plans to work with children with AIDS, accompanied her father on his midwestern swing, "getting a feel for the campaign, seeing what it's all about," as Gordon Johndroe, Laura Bush's spokesman, put it. The 22-year-old twins are still deciding whether they want to address crowds. "It's no small feat to introduce the president of the United States to 10,000 people -- to go right from college and do that," Johndroe told us. "That's why they're starting off with smaller things."
In the White House Race, Your Ketchup Is Your Vote
• Hungry Republicans looking for something to go with their Freedom Fries but loath to put down their money for Heinz ketchup now have an alternative: W ketchup. The brainchild of New York banker Bill Zachary and his friends (who happen to be well-off Bushies), the condiment has proved popular since its introduction last week. He tells us they've shipped 50,000 bottles ordered from the Web site WKetchup.com, which declares: "You don't support Democrats. Why should your ketchup?"
Zachary insists that his $3-a-bottle product is "less vinegary and more tomatoey" than Heinz ketchup. The site claims Heinz customers support Teresa Heinz Kerry "and liberal causes such as [John] Kerry for president." But a Heinz corporate exec, Ted Smyth, says Zachary is trying to sell a product "based on falsehoods" and "defaming American workers at an American company." Smyth told The Post's Rebecca Dana yesterday: "There's as much connection between the Heinz company and Kerry campaign as there is between Gore-Tex and Al Gore."
The ketchup-selling site includes a tribute to Ronald Reagan, whose budget director in 1981 famously suggested counting ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches. It also features a sampling of responses from supporters ("God bless you") and detractors ("You've got to be kidding"). Said Zachary: "Everyone seems to think that somehow Halliburton is behind us. It's not."
Who Needs the Housework? Friedan's Moved to Smaller Digs
• Famed feminist Betty Friedan put her double-unit, three-bedroom, three-bath apartment in the Wyoming in Northwest Washington up for sale last week for a cool $1,195,000. (The portrait of Friedan that hangs in the living room gives away its ownership.) The 83-year-old writer moved into the Georgetown, a retirement residence on Q Street, about three months ago.
"Betty's fine -- she just made a decision to get out of that huge apartment," her personal assistant, Hildie Carney, told us yesterday. "She has a few health problems, but then how many 83-year-olds don't?" Friends say Friedan keeps a home in the Hamptons and remains active. "Just as her book 'The Fountain of Age' described, there comes a time when you get older and you need to rely on outside help," one said.
• Citing offended customers, Slim-Fast has booted comic Whoopi Goldberg as its spokeswoman. The company said it was "disappointed" in Goldberg's remarks at last week's celebrity fundraiser for John Kerry and John Edwards at Radio City Music Hall. The New York Post described Goldberg's shtick this way: "Waving a bottle of wine, she fired off a stream of vulgar sexual wordplays on Bush's name in a riff about female genitalia." No immediate comment from Whoopi.
• Speaking of celebrity endorsements: Dennis Miller, a big backer of Bush, was in Green Bay, Wis., yesterday to warm up the crowd before the prez spoke. Miller made a glancing reference to Whoopi but promised, "In deference to George W. Bush, I will try not to fall to depths that some would in this case."
Then he went on to imply a homosexual attraction between Kerry and Edwards.
"Those two cannot keep their hands off each other, can they?" Miller said. "I think I have a new idea for a new campaign slogan -- use the bumper sticker 'Hey, Get A Room.' "
The Post's Dana Milbank also reports that Miller riffed on other noted Dems. "Asking Bill Clinton to write an honest book is like asking Britney Spears to sing a capella," he said.
And he called strategist James Carville "a muppet who accidentally was washed on hot" and a "Satanic Chihuahua under a strobe light" who has "more nervous ticks than a Belfast parking valet."
All in good fun, of course. Bush thanked Miller "for joining us" but made no mention of his warm-up act.
With Anne Schroeder
© 2004 The Washington Post Company