1. Parenting
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Bush and Cheney on Fatherhood

The Candidates as Fathers


The First Twins

Jenna and Barbara Bush

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are both fathers, and, like their Democratic counterparts, have had very different fatherhood experiences.

George W. Bush's Family

President Bush's twin daughters Barbara and Jenna were born in November 1981 to George W. and Laura Bush. Both girls attended high school at Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin, Texas while their dad was governor. Jenna was the senior class vice-president and a reporter for the student newspaper. Barbara was an athlete and homecoming queen.

Jenna recently graduated from the University of Texas and Barbara from Yale. Currently, the twins are actively participating in the presidential campaign.

The First Twins have had a reputation as party girls. Jenna and Barbara were cited as minors for trying to buy alcohol. The Internet is loaded with pictures of girls at parties. They have ditched their Secret Service protection at times for a little freedom.

A biography of First Lady Laura Bush offers some insight to the Bush's parenting style. According to author Ann Gerhart, the Bushes have been more interested in protecting their daughters' privacy than in instilling values. Their parenting style was described as "libertarian" and "laissez-faire." And, in fairness, the girls, like other politicians' children, were raised in a fishbowl of publicity.

The girls have great respect and fondness for both their dad and mom, and speak highly of their dad's "loyalty, humor, compassion and integrity." Jenna also credits her mom with her father's success in business and politics.

The Bush family enjoys the outdoors and sports activities. When Bush owned the Texas Rangers, he, Laura and the twins attended often. They also enjoy fishing, President Bush's favorite pasttime.

Dick Cheney's Family

Dick and Lynne Cheney have been married since 1964 and have two daughters, Elizabeth (Liz) and Mary. Liz has been serving as deputy assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs in the Bush Administration and is the mother of the Cheney's four grandchildren. She is now volunteering full-time with the campaign. Daughter Mary has an MBA and has worked with the Coors Brewing Company. An acknolwedged lesbian (as was pointed out by Sen. John Edwards in the vice-presidential debate), Mary has been a social conscience for the Cheney family. And her life experience as a gay family member has helped her parents better understand the gay marriage issue. While President Bush supports the marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Vice President Cheney does not.

Cheney's hobbies are mostly outdoors-related, including backpacking, bicycling, camping, fishing, horseback riding, jogging and river-rafting. His family has enjoyed these moments with their father over the years.

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