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Bush daughter Jenna Hager becomes Today reporter

The Associated Press

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NEW YORK – NBC’s Today show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent — former first daughter Jenna Hager.

The daughter of former President George W. Bush will contribute stories about once a month on issues like education to television’s top-rated morning news show, said Jim Bell, its executive producer.

In this July 23, 2009 photo, Jenna Bush Hager poses for a portrait in New York. NBC's "Today" show has hired Hager as a correspondent.

In this July 23, 2009 photo, Jenna Bush Hager poses for a portrait in New York. NBC's "Today" show has hired Hager as a correspondent.

She’ll essentially work two part-time jobs as a correspondent and in her school, where she will be a reading coordinator this year.

Bell said he got the idea after seeing Hager in two Today appearances. She was on the program two years ago to promote her book about an HIV-infected single mother, Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope, and it went so well that a short interview was stretched to nearly a half hour. She and her mother, Laura Bush, also co-hosted an hour of Today around the time their picture book came out.

Bell said Hager won’t be covering politics. He said he didn’t consider the job as a down payment for a future interview with her father, who has been living quietly in Texas since leaving office earlier this year. Attacks on NBC News by conservatives for the liberal bent of MSNBC also had nothing to do with it, he said.

“I hope to focus on what I’m passionate about because I think I’d do the best job on them — education, urban education, women and children’s issues and literacy,” said Hager.

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Bush daughter Jenna Hager becomes Today reporter