Former president shows up as daughters introduce their latest title
By Karen Chaney
Audience members flipped through the pages of Superpower Sisterhood while awaiting the authors Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush to enter the stage at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
When the announcer said, “Please welcome the 43rd President of the United States,” the crowd erupted in gasps of surprise and applause.
“It’s been a fun couple of days for Laura and me; our little girls are in town,” George W. Bush said. “I never thought they would be authors when they were teenagers. I wasn’t sure if they would grow up, but they did, and we’re incredibly proud of them.”
The former president, sporting a pair of tennis shoes and blazer, then settled into his seat next to his wife, Laura Bush, and one of their grandchildren, Mila Hager, one of Jenna’s children.
The moderator of the book tour presentation, Charlotte Jones, daughter of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president and chief brand officer for the team, began the talk in convivial fashion.
“Before we jump into your book, I feel it is only suiting, since your family is here with us today, that we wind back a little bit and talk about family,” Jones said.
Jenna relayed some of their reactions upon becoming first daughters while entering their freshman year of college.
“When our dad told us he was going to run for president, we cried. We told him he was ruining our life; it was slightly dramatic,” Jenna said, and the audience laughed. “He told us, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll have a normal college experience.’”
As an adult, she appreciates the meaning behind his words.
“I think, now that I’m a parent, what he was trying to do, what all parents try to do, was make their kids feel safe and happy,” Jenna said.
The idea for Superpower Sisterhood originated while the sisters were on tour for their book, Sisters First.
Barbara said many girls came with a cousin or best friend and spoke of wishing to have a sister. The Bush sisters replied that the person they came with was their “chosen sister.”
Because of these encounters, they decided to write a book about chosen sisters.
They based the main character, Emma, on their mom, who was an only child.
“Our mom has the same best friends she has had since she was little living in Texas. They love hiking together and go to different national parks together each summer,” Barbara said. “They are mom’s chosen sisters.”
Jenna elaborated on the superpower element of the book.
“All of the girls in the book have powers that are human powers like they are good at math like Barbara; one is great at design; one is a great dancer. I think we all have these God-given talents,” Jenna said. “They (the characters) each have skills that are human skills, but together, they are super powerful, and they use them to make their neighborhood a better place.”