September 1, 2004 -- The Bush twins made their national television debut last night — with a string of weak one-liners that drew cringes from the crowd and at one point brought a soft rebuke from their grandparents.
The twins, Barbara and Jenna Bush, had the job of introducing President Bush, who in turn introduced First Lady Laura Bush.
For much of their brief time on stage, the twins seemed to amuse themselves more than the crowd.
Some delegates in Madison Square Garden seemed startled when Jenna Bush accused her beloved grandmother Barbara of being too opinionated, hating their clothes and being out of touch with pop culture.
"She thinks, 'Sex and the City' is something married people do, but never talk about," Jenna said.
President George H. W. Bush smiled and wagged his finger at his granddaughter, as if to say "shame."
Jenna Bush also poked fun at the first daughters' penchant for making headlines, including highly publicized underage drinking incidents.
"We spent the last four years trying to stay out of the spotlight," she said. "Sometimes we did a little better than others. We kept trying to explain to Dad that when we were young and irresponsible. Well, we were young and irresponsible."
Barbara noted that "when your dad's a Republican and you go to Yale, you learn to stand up for yourself. So I knew I wasn't quite ready to be president — but No. 2 sounded good. Who is this man they call Dick Cheney."
Cheney stared back stone-faced.
They also referenced a speech given at the Democratic convention by the daughters of their father's opponent, John Kerry, by saying they, too, had a hamster. But unlike in the Kerry household, where the presidential candidate jumped into the water to save the family pet, "let's just say ours didn't make it," Barbara Bush said.
The world now also knows that President Bush and his wife call each other "Bushie" and that the first couple know the difference between the kissing disease mono and U2 frontman singer Bono — and they're hip to the hip-hop duo OutKast.
"And, if we really beg them, they will even 'Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture,' " said Jenna.