- The Washington Times - Monday, October 8, 2007

Jenna Bush’s book party was very much a family affair at the Hay-Adams Friday night. Her mother, Laura Bush, was there to introduce her, also twin sister Barbara, aunt Doro Bush Koch, uncle Marvin Bush, fiance Henry Hager, and — a last-minute surprise for most of the guests — her father, the president.

During an appreciative tribute to both her parents, Jenna thanked her father warmly for coming, noting simply that, “He doesn’t leave the house much these days.”

“It was touching; he was so happy he blushed with pleasure,” said Buffy Cafritz, who just happened to be standing next him.

The president reddened again a minute later after accidentally elbowing Susan Porter and sending a bit of champagne dripping down her jacket. “He was so embarrassed he blushed,” Ms. Porter said. “He couldn”t sponge it off, so he just held my arm and told me repeatedly how sorry he was.” (Luckily, her suit was black.)

Guests enjoyed the views from the hotel”s party-perfect Roof Terrace overlooking the nearby White House with only Lafayette Square’s trees between them (unless you count the anti-terrorist impedimenta on the other side of the Executive Mansion’s walls).

“We’re neighbors” said Kay Enokido, the hotel’s vice president and the party’s co-host with Lea Berman. Henry Adams, she noted, once lived on the site, “a descendant of the first set of father-son presidents.”

Jenna Bush started her book, “Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope,” when she and a long-time school friend, photographer Mia Baxter, interned in Central America for UNICEF. At an AIDS workshop they met a young girl, HIV-positive since birth, whose parents and newborn sister had all died of AIDS, and who must keep her condition secret to avoid harm from others and expulsion from school. Poverty, rape, beatings, her inability to protect her little sister and terrible loneliness lead to a relationship with a fellow victim that results in the birth of her daughter.

Miss Baxter’s sensitive photographs conceal “Ana’s” identity, and the heartfelt, vivid story ends with hope: her child is healthy, and she will return to school. Jenna Bush’s share of the proceeds (the book reportedly received a $300,000-plus advance) will go to UNICEF, along with a fund for “Ana” and her family.

“She was always a compassionate child,” Mrs. Bush said of her daughter’s altruistic bent.

An especially touching moment occurred when Linda Moore, principal of the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Charter School, where Jenna taught for two years, brought a $250 check from her students for UNICEF.

Guests included Mr. Hager’s former boss, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, and his wife, Edi; Hanayo Kato, wife of the ambassador of Japan; architectLeo Daly (“It was great to see that fatherly pride”); White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten; former Mayor Anthony A. Williams; andRobert Barnett, Jenna Bush’s lawyer-agent.

Donna Shor


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