Daddy's girls

August 20, 2004

Daughters and degree certificates are valuable PR tools in the ruthless battle for the US presidency. Following in the footsteps of Chelsea Clinton, Vanessa Kerry - daughter of Democratic candidate John Kerry - has scored points for the Kerry team by winning a scholarship to study for a masters degree in England. The -year-old, who is a student at Harvard Medical School, will be studying at both the London School of Economics and the London School of Tropical Medicine.

Ms Kerry beat off fierce competition to win a US government-funded Fulbright scholarship, awarded to only 1,000 students a year (although one wonders whether having a potential president as a father might have helped to tip the balance a little in the admissions process).

Sadly, President George W. Bush's 22-year-old twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, are setting a less rosy example. They toed the presidential campaign line by graduating from the universities of Texas and Yale respectively, but in 2001 delighted the media when they were charged with underage alcohol offences at a Mexican restaurant in Austin, Texas.

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