Jenna Bush Hager Explains Why She's "So Proud" of Malia and Sasha Obama

By Allison Crist Sep 09, 2020 10:38 PMTags
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Watch: Jenna Bush Hager Shares Sweet Story About Late Grandmother

Opening up in a new way.

Jenna Bush Hager has lived most of her life in the public eye, but her new memoir Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss is as personal as it gets.

The former first daughter and granddaughter appeared on the latest episode of Just the Sip, telling E!'s Justin Sylvester all about the book, which focuses on the loss of her maternal grandmother Jenna Welch, Barbara and George H. W. Bush—all of which occurred in a single year.

Jenna tells a multitude of stories about all of her grandparents throughout the memoir, similar to the one she recalled on Wednesday's podcast that centered on Barbara's eagerness to learn about things and people she didn't understand.

"If a 91-year-old can be open to changing her opinions about something that she didn't know that much about...surely us as a society can be more open-minded; can open our hearts for different beliefs and thoughts," Jenna told Justin.

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The two continued to look back on Jenna's past experiences throughout the podcast, including her time spent living in the White House—something she's not so sure she could do today because of social media.

Justin specifically mentioned the idea of Instagram being around when she was attending the University of Texas at Austin, prompting her to explain that she and her sister Barbara Bush would not have fared well: "We wanted to be normal college kids. We experienced college in a really normal way, which allows you to make mistakes. Thank goodness there was no social media."

This is one of the many reasons the Today co-anchor is "so proud" of Malia and Sasha Obama.

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"Barbara and I always saw ourselves in them because when they went into the White House, they were the same age that we were when our grandpa was inaugurated," Jenna added. "When they were leaving, they were our age when my dad became president. They were in their teens; they were 18, 19 years old. And we knew what that was like too."

She continued, "We knew that you want to be yourself. You want to be able to have the room to make mistakes without being criticized for silly things. And they are exceptional girls—I mean, now they're women!"

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Growing up in the spotlight definitely had its drawbacks, but without life in the limelight, Jenna might not have met her now-husband of 12 years, Henry Hager.

"He worked for my dad, which we were embarrassed to say," she told Justin. "I'm still kind of flushed when I say it...I think because neither one of us are really that political, that we never really wanted our romance or our love to be defined by politics; something that sort of is cold and not sexy."

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"So it embarrassed us a little bit, which is silly because otherwise...somebody said 'What's your favorite souvenir from the White House?' and I said my husband," Jenna added. "I got in there and I took him for me!"

She continued, "And I'm glad I did because he's a great dad. I haven't been single in a lot of years...I found a good one and he's kind and funny and he can homeschool a child or two, which comes in handy these days."

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Listen to the complete episode of Just the Sip to hear more from Jenna Bush Hager!

New Episodes, Wed 10am PT