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First daughter Jenna Bush announes engagement to longtime boyfriend

WASHINGTON – Jenna Bush party girl, teacher, global activist and first daughter and now, fiancee.

First lady Laura Bush announced Thursday that her 25-year-old daughter is engaged to longtime boyfriend Henry Hager, an MBA student who worked on the president’s re-election campaign and was an aide to political guru Karl Rove.

It’s an all-Republican match. Hager, 29, is the son of Virginia GOP Chairman John Hager, a former Virginia lieutenant governor and tobacco executive who worked for the bride-to-be’s dad until a few weeks ago as an assistant secretary at the Education Department.

At this point it’s anyone’s guess if there’ll be a White House wedding before President Bush leaves office in Jan. 2009.

The first lady’s spokeswoman, Sally McDonough, said no date has been set and no site has been picked.

The couple was in Maine when they got engaged Wednesday, though not at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport.

White House aides weren’t saying much beyond that. The president and Mrs. Bush have been at the family ranch in Crawford, Texas, since Monday.

“There have been some pretty spectacular White House weddings,” said Carl Sferrazza Anthony, a presidential historian in Los Angeles whose books include “America’s First Families; An Inside View of 200 Years of Private Life in the White House.”

President Bush’s sister, Doro Koch, married her second (and current) husband at Camp David during their father’s term. Both of Lyndon Johnson’s daughters got married during his term.

Jenna Bush is the younger twin, named for the first lady’s mother, Jenna Welch. Sister Barbara is named for the other first lady in the family, the president’s mother.

Born in Dallas, they spent much of their school years in Austin when dad became governor.

Jenna developed a reputation as more of a partier. She ended up at the University of Texas, while Barbara went off to Yale, their dad’s alma mater. Both graduated in May 2004.

The Bushes long shielded the twins from publicity. They made a sassy coming-out appearance at the 2004 GOP convention, cracking wise about their grandmother.

Jenna lampooned her dad and her own checkered image as an underage drinker, borrowing a line he had long used: “We kept trying to explain to Dad that when we were young and irresponsible, well, we were young and irresponsible.”

Jenna Bush has been caricatured on late-night television and was even the subject of a one-woman off-Broadway show in New York a few years ago, “The Miss Education of Jenna Bush.”

After college she began teaching in Washington, D.C., and she worked for UNICEF in Panama. She’s writing a book about a 17-year-old single mother with HIV she met there.

Jenna Bush reportedly began dating Hager in late 2004; he had landed an internship the previous year with Rove, the White House strategist who announced his resignation Monday.

Hager worked as personal aide to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez until July 2006, when he left to start a two-year business administration graduate program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School in Richmond, his hometown. He’s about to return for his final year. His undergraduate degree is from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

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