Robert Knudsen - White House  /  AP file
U.S. President John F. Kennedy holds out a pencil toward his 18-month-old son John Jr., who takes a few steps in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, May 25, 1962.
updated 7/15/2004 2:24:33 PM ET 2004-07-15T18:24:33

For years, presidential children have been included in media’s praise and criticism.  From the moment their fathers run for president, these children enter a delicate limelight—often they have to find a way to live in the Washington fishbowl.

The White House has seen the transformation of children from babies to young adults, has been witnesses to presidential marriages. The White House has also seen some innocent mischief on behalf of its young residents each leaving their own mark.

The Kennedy children were known for playing with their father in the Oval Office: John enjoying the limelight, while Caroline shunned it.  Tad Lincoln used to drive the White House Staff insane when he learned how to ring all the White House bells at the same time.

Who can forget the presidential alliance that was formed when Julie Nixon married Dwight Eisenhower? And the magic that erupted when Lynda Johnson was married in the White House East Room?  This was the first marriage conducted in the White House since 1914 when Eleanor Wilson was married.

Some presidential children shine: Two children, John Quincy Adams and George W.Bush have followed in their father’s footsteps by becoming presidents.  Bush Sr.'s other son Jeb, served as governor of Florida during the scandalous 2000 election.

Yet, other children take on a quieter role in society. It is rare to find Chelsea Clinton’s name in the news headlines.  After graduating Stamford in 1997 with a history degree, she went on to study at the University College at Oxford shying away from the press. 

The newest presidential children, Barbara and Jenna Bush , fondly dubbed “The First Twins” made the news with their bouts of underage drinking.  Yet, both have gone and stayed out of the negative spotlight since and are respectively graduating from Yale University and the University of Texas.  Only recently, did the twins reemerge in a magazine shoot for Vogue, where they took on their new roles as political and public daughters when they announced they would join their father on his campaign trail.

Ron Reagan, son of the late President Reagan has recently been caught in the whirlwind of media attention.  Following the death of his father, Reagan has openly criticized President Bush who refused to support stem cell research.  Reagan is now slated to speak at the Democratic National Convention on the issue.

On Wednesday's show, Deborah Norville spoke to three children (now adults) about the Washington fishbowl they once lived in. 

Steven Ford, son of President Ford, is not a stranger to the media.  He played the role of Andy Richards on CBS’s "The Young and the Restless" for over six years, appeared in movies such as “When Harry Met Sally” and “Black Hawk Down.”

Eleanor Mondale, daughter of Walter Mondale is a television personality known for her stints on the "E! Online" and CBS’s “This Morning.”

“Chip” Carter, son of Jimmy Carter, made headlines recently when he backed Howard Dean for Democratic presidential nominee.


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