News & Features » Street Talk (Old)

Jenna Bush Dating Richmonder?

comment
Fortunately for Henry, Jenna's dad approves of the Hager name. In May, President Bush nominated John Hager to be assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, a position in the Department of Education.

Henry Hager, who has served as a White House aide, worked for Karl Rove's team to help re-elect Bush.

If Henry and Jenna met during the campaign, they didn't necessarily date. On Election Night in November, according to a local Republican insider, Jenna Bush appeared to have another male companion by her side. But by last week's inaugural events, they were being spotted together.

Jenna Bush, 23, is anything but a wallflower. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in English in May, she stepped up her efforts to help her father's presidential campaign. She and her twin sister, Barbara, were all the rage at inaugural parties last week. Hip designer Badgley Mischka created Jenna's inaugural ball gown, made of an emerald silk crepe with metallic leather banding and jeweled insets.

Last week, a spokesman for the first lady even had to put a lid on speculation that Jenna was engaged. The buzz started when Jenna was pictured at inaugural events wearing jewelry on the ring finger of her left hand. Engagement ring? No, the Associated Press reported Jan. 20. Bush spokesman Gordon Johndroe told the AP, "She's still single," and was not engaged or secretly wed.

So what's Henry Hager like? "He's got his head on straight," says one friend of the family. He's a graduate of St. Christopher's School and has collegiate good looks, according to a female account. Style was unable to reach him at his Arlington apartment.

Ann Gerhart, a staff writer for the Washington Post, reported last week that the Bush twins caught the eyes of many admirers during inaugural festivities. At a pre-inauguration party sponsored by the National Beer Wholesalers Assocation, Gerhart wrote, Jenna was spotted at the VIP bar ordering herself a vodka and tonic. She was watched like the celebrity she has become.

Then, Gerhart wrote, just before Stephen Baldwin approached Jenna, there was a moment of romance: "By 11 p.m. she's back at the bar, then back to the rail, smoking and sipping, while a young man caresses her hair and her back."

Could the nameless young man have been Henry Hager? We think the Secret Service may have a clue. — Jason Roop and Scott Bass

Add a comment