Jenna vs. Chelsea

T.A. Frank has an interesting piece at TNR entitled, “Jenna vs. Chelsea: Who’s the least virtuous first daughter?

For a long time, it seemed as if Jenna Bush’s public image was pretty much summed up by her work on the club circuit. Back in 2005, the New York Post made mention of a party that included “Jenna on all fours doing ‘the butt dance’ … as guys were ogling her thong.” If the First Twin’s choice of recreational activities wasn’t entirely bad–for instance, the Post’s source gave Jenna credit for “doing [the butt dance] very well”–then neither was it entirely good. By contrast, Chelsea Clinton learned the hard way about what can come of impromptu displays of thong and, so far, has covered her rear. It’s no surprise that her Poise Count–the number of LexisNexis articles resulting from the word “poise” paired with her name–clocks in at 770, while Jenna trails at 144. Chelsea was the accomplished Stanford graduate living a quiet life in New York, while Jenna was the not-so-accomplished University of Texas graduate living a loud life in–well, wherever she happened to go drinking.

After that rather amusing beginning, however, we find that Jenna Bush has gone on to lead a quiet life of public service while Chelsea Clinton has gone on to exploit her family connections for wealth and celebrity.

Commenters on Frank’s piece, reasonably enough, question his focus on the relatives of politicians. Certainly, Jenna and Chelsea have every right to chose their own paths in life without it either inputing anything about their parents’ politics or their own fealty to their parents’ espoused principles; they’re adults, after all. Still, it’s an interesting turn of events, especially since Jenna was getting a whole lot more coverage during her drunken college days than now.

(Incidentally, for those who don’t recall the Jenna Bush Butt Dance saga, the link at left will provide a handy primer, including information I had myself forgotten about the pop culture phenomenon which was “Da Butt.” )

FILED UNDER: General, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. I initially read the headline picturing some sort of fight between the Jena 6 and British soccer hooligans. This clearly proves, if nothing else, that I am weird.

  2. Triumph says:

    After that rather amusing beginning, however, we find that Jenna Bush has gone on to lead a quiet life of public service while Chelsea Clinton has gone on to exploit her family connections for wealth and celebrity.

    Huh? Getting a job with the UN and then writing a book published by HarperCollins is indicative of “going on to lead a quiet life of public service”? I am sure that Jenna’s family connections had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Just like her old man was asked to invest in the Rangers because he was such an accomplished businessman–not because of his family connections.

  3. Anderson says:

    Jenna already had wealth and celebrity, and thus had no need to go in search of them.

  4. Derrick says:

    After that rather amusing beginning, however, we find that Jenna Bush has gone on to lead a quiet life of public service while Chelsea Clinton has gone on to exploit her family connections for wealth and celebrity.

    I’m in complete agreement with Triumph. Let’s not act as if Jenna shaved her head and was living with monks. Jenna has been pretty exploitive of her parents connections as well. Book deals, GMA, Today Show appearances and UN jobs don’t fall off the back of trucks.

  5. Steve Plunk says:

    Who. Gives. A. Crap? We didn’t elect these children of our leaders we elected the leaders themselves. This is nothing but celebrity idolatry. TNR wasted valuable paper pulp on this subject? I swear the press treats the Presidency as it does the English monarchy.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Let’s just leave the kids out of it…

  7. superdestroyer says:

    If you want to learn why the U.S. is having problems in the world economy, all you have to do is look at the careers that the children of our political leaders go into. Too many actors, screen writers, and do-gooders, Too few who do anything that creates jobs, produces things for the marketplace, or competes with other countries.

  8. just me says:

    If you want to learn why the U.S. is having problems in the world economy, all you have to do is look at the careers that the children of our political leaders go into

    I don’t know about the world economy, but I do think looking at what the children of political leaders do indicates the US treats them a bit as celebrity, and they often end up with a much easier road into whatever they intend to do.

  9. Bob says:

    So this is what constitutes “news” nowadays? Really, like I can’t walk in the mall and see dozens of girls in their late teens and early 20’s showing me their underwear. And we wonder why the public has such low opinions of the press…

  10. Eneils Bailey says:

    Whether you like the children or not, I detest people who want to make them fodder for the editorial pages. My sympathies are for the children of prominent leaders of this country.
    No child of a national leader should be judged on your concept of what is politically right and wrong.
    Think about what you were doing in your early twenties, you were sowing the seeds of life and then waking up the next morning praying for a crop failure.
    From the Clinton’s daughter to the Bush twins, these are mere children, exposed to what their parents had brought to them.
    I can’t slam either side, because when I was that age, I was a blithering idiot. Hope Chelsa and the twins endure the senseless adult amusement and become successful adults. Seems like a tough life to me. If you endure and maintain your sense of dignity, I think you will grow up to be a successful individual. I don’t think at an early point, being a Republican or a Democrat matters as much as what you were taught about right and wrong.
    Let us just hope they grow up, respecting their origin, and looking forward to the future.

  11. Triumph says:

    From the Clinton’s daughter to the Bush twins, these are mere children,

    What in the world are you talking about? They are adults.