Jenna Bush Hager, Sharing Those Teaching Duties

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Monday, October 27, 2008

When Jenna Bush went to work for a D.C. charter school, the third-grade class got more than the president's daughter -- it got "Miss Jenna's" boyfriend and sister, too. Turns out the rookie teacher roped in her nearest and dearest as class volunteers.

"I was there all the time," Barbara Bush told us. "The Friendship Ball is their big dance -- I did a lot of crafts for it -- and we supervised a lot of field trips."

The famous teacher's aides were a well-kept secret until Friday, when the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School celebrated its 10th anniversary at the residence of Kuwaiti Ambassador Salem Al-Sabah and his wife, Rima. Jenna and Mayor Adrian Fenty were honored, so Laura Bush dropped by and Henry Hager (taller than you might expect) stayed close to his bride of six months.

But it was Barbara -- the low-profile twin now living in New York -- who charmed the crowd and choked up when she presented the award to her sister. "When we were little, we were totally obsessed with playing school," she said, recalling the night they were in tears about who got to lead the class -- until their mom invented a game called "Teacher's Lounge," in which the twins would tell each other about imaginary students. Years later, Barbara became a regular in Jenna's real classroom: "Her enthusiasm got me, Henry and all our friends super excited about the school. . . . Needless to say, I'm very proud of my little twin sister."

The evening, said EWS volunteer Dede McClure (White House chief of staff Josh Bolten's sweetheart), was to showcase what's good about the District's beleaguered school system. Chancellor Michelle Rhee presented Fenty's award and cracked: "Usually when I'm standing in front of a crowd at 7:30 at night, I'm getting screamed at."

Jenna, now teaching in Baltimore, had nothing but praise for her first experience in a real teacher's lounge: "I may be slightly biased, but I don't think there's a greater school in D.C."

Sarah Palin, Getting Back to Her Own Duds

Sarah Palin has slipped into something more comfortable -- her own clothes.

The Alaska governor was introduced yesterday at a Tampa rally by "The View's" Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who called coverage of the $150,000 wardrobe flap "deliberately sexist."

The GOP's veep nominee, dressed in a pale pink jacket, itemized her entire ensemble: "I am back to wearing my own clothes from my favorite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska," Palin told the audience. She also mentioned her $35 wedding ring (usually in husband Todd's pocket because it hurts to wear when she's shaking so many hands) and the beaded earrings from her mother-in-law.

All those expensive clothes from Neiman's and Saks picked up during the convention shopping spree? "They are not my property. Just like the lighting and the staging and everything else that the RNC purchased, I'm not taking them with me," she said. The campaign, in a statement yesterday, said a third of the wardrobe had been returned unworn.

Love, Etc.

ยท Born: A boy to Amy Poehler and Will Arnett Saturday in New York. At 8 pounds 1 ounce, Archie Arnett made his debut just hours before mom's scheduled appearance on "Saturday Night Live," causing some last-minute rewrites. "Amy Poehler is not here tonight because she's having a baby," Seth Meyers said of his co-anchor at the start of the "Weekend Update" segment. Poehler, 37, appeared on "SNL's" Thursday prime-time edition and rehearsed with the cast Friday; she announced earlier this year she would leave the show after the baby was born.


"Youths literally run the world. Kids probably have the loudest voice together than anyone."

-- Barack Obama supporter and the Jane Fonda of Gen Y, Hayden Panettiere, on why kids (presumably ones old enough to vote) are actually in charge-- and making such a racket. (Take that, old fogies!) The "Heroes" actress was at American University this weekend for her "Save the Whales Again" campaign.

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