Little Known Facts About These Political Family Members

Politics today in the United States of America are many things: entertaining, interesting, scary, toxic, unbelievable — the list goes on. And while many policies themselves are (sort of) interesting to keep up with, a number of politicians have become celebrities in their own right. Whether it's politicians-turned-celebrities running for office, or vice versa, the drama of politics can be more intriguing than your favorite soap opera — and sometimes less believable.

In this nation of excess, knowing every detail of the lives of our not-so-humble public servants isn't enough; we apparently need to know about their family members. While some of them are just in the spotlight by proxy, many have forged their own paths and leveraged their names and connections for one reason or another.

Though we couldn't possibly know everything there is to know about those individuals who are related to high-profile politicians, there are plenty of interesting morsels circulating. And so, we listed them here as our own form of public service. Let's dig into some of the little-known facts about political family members.

Jared Kushner used to donate to the Democratic Party

American businessman Jared Kushner has been married to Ivanka Trump for over a decade, and in 2017, he joined former United States President Donald Trump as a senior advisor to his administration. Kushner served until the end of his father-in-law's term in 2021, and when Joe Biden became president, Kushner returned to a career in private business. Though Kushner is now a member of the Republican Party and associated with a Republican president's tenure, he wasn't always a member of the GOP.

Kushner, whose sister-in-law is model Karlie Kloss, was once a member of the Democratic Party. "I was not a Republican. Now I'm a Republican. I think the Republican Party is growing now that people like me feel comfortable being part of it," Kushner said in 2019, per The New York Times. Before switching parties, Kushner also regularly donated to Democratic candidates, as reported by OpenSecrets.

Though Kushner is no longer a White House aide, he still voices his opinion on American politics. In an interview with Sky News, Kushner told the host, "Joe Biden is the president right now, and I think he's been an absolutely awful president ... I think that's been a disaster for our country and for the world."

Ella Emhoff is an advocate for women creatives

In 2021 when Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first female vice president of the United States, her stepdaughter Ella Emhoff was in attendance at the inauguration. Ella, whose father is Harris' husband, David Emhoff, stole the show with her striking style, particularly her Miu Miu coat and Batsheva dress. Ella's style catapulted her into fashion icon status, a title officially bestowed upon her by Harper's Bazaar in 2022, and the vice president's daughter parlayed the buzz into a modeling career, soon walking for designers like Proenza. Though modeling wasn't always in her plan, Ella has long hoped for a career in fashion. "For a really long time when I was younger, I wanted to be a designer," she told Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez at NYFW, per ET Canada.

But Ella doesn't want to be the only woman in a creative position of power. Ella is an advocate for all women creatives, proving her dedication by joining the 3 Percent Movement, which has a goal of increasing the number of female creative directors. And as for her status as a fashion icon, Ella said to People, "It's kind of shocking. This is an incredible honor and as someone who doesn't really think of herself like that it's nice reassurance. And makes me check myself and the way I perceive myself, so exciting."

Tiffany Trump was named after the jewelry store

Tiffany Trump, daughter of former United States President Donald Trump has, from the outside, always lived a charmed life. The daughter of a billionaire and a model, Tiffany grew up in California, interned one summer at Vogue magazine, and attended law school at Georgetown University. Tiffany was destined to live a life of luxury, though, and not just because of her father's net worth (though that does help). Per Vanity Fair, the heiress was reportedly named after the famed jewelry store Tiffany & Co., which has been selling luxury goods for over 150 years and was the inspiration behind Truman Capote's novel "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

Not long before Tiffany was born, her father purchased the air rights above the Tiffany & Co. store in Manhattan. The jewelry store happens to be located next door to the plot of land where he plunked down Trump Tower, and by acquiring those aforementioned air rights, he was able to build the skyscraper to his liking. As Donald recounted in "The Art of the Deal," he contacted Tiffany & Co. chairman Walter Hoving directly with his proposal. "By selling me air rights, you will preserve Tiffany forever," Donald told him. "No one will ever be able to build over it, and therefore no one will ever try to rip it down." And with that, Donald acquired the air rights. 

Barron Trump is bilingual

Throughout the world, being bilingual isn't really that uncommon. Nearly half the world's population can speak more than one language, per Preply. However, in the United States, it's much rarer, with only about 20 percent of the population able to speak more than one language. But when your father is a billionaire, and your mother speaks more than one language, it is not a huge surprise that you're bilingual, too, which is the case for former President Donald Trump's son Barron Trump. The youngest of Donald's children, Barron's mother is model and former first lady Melania Trump, who was born in Slovenia.

Melania shared with People that she and her husband were raising their son to speak more than one language, often having Barron call his grandmother in Slovenia to practice. "My opinion is that more languages you speak, better it is," though she did add, "When you come to America, you speak English." Melania also added that she and Donald were also trying to expose their son to different activities per his interests. "He wants to be a golfer, a businessman, a pilot. It's that age when you introduce him to stuff," she said.

Malia Obama worked with Donald Glover

Growing up in the White House is a unique experience that a few people in history have had, and it's especially unique in today's world due to heightened attention from the media. Though much of what comes from being in the spotlight at such a young age is not enviable, being the child of a president does afford you certain privileges that few others in this world have, namely connections. Whether or not you make the most of those connections is entirely up to you. 

In 2021, Malia Obama, daughter of former United States President Barack Obama, joined the writing staff of an upcoming show co-created by rapper, actor, and writer Donald Glover, best known for his role on "Community" and for creating the Emmy-winning FX show "Atlanta." "She's just like, an amazingly talented person. She's really focused, and she's working really hard," Glover told Vanity Fair of Malia's performance as a writer. Glover further dispelled any wrongful assumptions that Malia's position on his staff is solely due to her last name by adding, "I feel like she's just somebody who's gonna have really good things coming soon. Her writing style is great."

The Bush twins aren't affiliated with any political party

When you are the child of a president, the public has lots of questions about your personal life, but also your politics, particularly your political affiliation. This fascination is heightened by having two former presidents in your life, which is the case for Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush, daughters of former United States President George W. Bush and granddaughters of former United States President George H.W. Bush. Though the twins are famously part of a Republican family, both have noted to People that they are not affiliated with either major political party in the United States. As Barbara said, "I don't really label myself as Republican or Democrat"; Jenna added, "We're both very independent thinkers."

Perhaps the sisters take after their great-grandmother, former first lady Barbara Bush. On a 2020 episode of "Watch What Happens Live," Jenna told host Andy Cohen, "My grandmother Barbara, I think, was kind of misunderstood." Jenna went on to say, "She was actually kind of modern ... She changed her views even in her nineties," adding that her grandmother had changed her opinion on transgender rights later in life. "If a 90-year-old woman can sit with an open heart and listen and change her views about anything, we all could do a little bit better of a job," Jenna said.

Naomi Biden is one of the few to marry at the White House

There are few wedding venues in the United States and the world as exclusive as the White House. Since housing its first residents in 1800, only 19 couples have been married there, the first in 1812 and the most recent in 2022. On November 19, 2022, President Joe Biden's eldest granddaughter, Naomi Biden, married Peter Neal in a stunning fall ceremony that was profiled by Vogue. 250 guests were in attendance, and the bride wore a Ralph Lauren gown for the nuptials. The wedding the first to take place at the presidential home since 2013, when an official White House photographer held his ceremony. "There's just such beauty and history in this place, and we really wanted to honor that," Naomi said.

The bride also noted that the setting had less to do with access and more to do with family. "We're so close to our families, so we always knew we'd get married in someone's backyard. I think if my pop weren't president, it would probably be their house in Wilmington or Peter's family's backyard in Jackson [Wyoming]." We'd get married at the White House, too, if it were an option. In addition to the 19 wedding ceremonies, four wedding receptions have been held at the White House, including Jenna Bush Hager's 2008 event.

Chelsea Clinton inspired a movie

Being someone's muse is a high honor, especially if it can inspire an iconic piece of art from the early 2000s. As we all know, the early aughts were a different time, rife with some of the best romantic comedies known to man. It also gifted us with some epic leading ladies, like Mandy Moore, and when those leading ladies, such as Moore, were cast to star in a romantic comedy, it was pure magic. And that's exactly what happened in 2004 when Moore starred in "Chasing Liberty," a story about the president's daughter who sheds her security detail to date in hopes of falling in love. But if there's anything cooler than starring in a romantic comedy, it's inspiring one.

Per SFGate, "Chasing Liberty" was very loosely based on none other than Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former United States President Bill Clinton. Despite having inspired the film, Chelsea, who lived in the White House from age 12 to 20, says she was a well-behaved resident. "Thankfully nothing that dramatic ever happened to me," Chelsea said on the "People Every Day" podcast. "I used to be asked all the time, 'Did you ever run away?' No, I never ran away. ... I wasn't going to stress out my parents like that. Just never even occurred to me," she added. Suffice to say, "Chasing Liberty" took more than a few creative liberties.

Ivanka Trump is done with politics

In 2017, Ivanka Trump, daughter of former President of the United States Donald Trump, joined her father's administration as a senior advisor. In 2021, when her father's term ended, she returned to the private sector. Aside from activity on social media, Ivanka has largely stayed out of the public eye since her father lost his race for re-election. In 2022, however, Donald announced that he is running for president for a third time. "In order to make America glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for President of the United States," he said at a rally in Mar-a-Lago.

Given her former involvement with her father's administration, the public wondered whether Ivanka would be aiding in his campaign, but she's made it clear she has no intention of working for Donald in a political capacity. "I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family. I do not plan to be involved in politics," she told Fox News. "While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena. I am grateful to have had the honor of serving the American people and will always be proud of many of our administration's accomplishments," she added.

Patrick Schwarzenegger co-founded a line of protein bars

Before there were the Bushes and the Clintons, there were the Kennedys. One could argue no political family in American history has been as influential in pop culture as this one, and their legacy has continued well into the 21st century, with descendants who don't bear the surname making history in their own right, like Maria Shriver, niece of former United States President John F. Kennedy. The journalist is known for her marriage to former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as her work with the Alzheimer's Association. Shriver also has four children, three of whom are also in the public eye.

Following in his father's creative footsteps, Patrick Schwarzenegger is an actor, some of his most prominent work including the HBO miniseries "The Staircase." But when Patrick isn't acting, he's working with his mother on the protein bar company they co-founded, MOSH. "It's pretty surreal 'cause I remember growing up and going to set with him and it was like my favorite activity," Patrick told "Today" of his chosen career path.

Patrick isn't the only family member of his generation who's earned money through the entertainment industry. His sister Christina Schwarzenegger has produced two documentaries, "Take Your Pills" and "Take Your Pills: Xanax," and his other sister, Katherine Schwarzenegger, is married to actor Chris Pratt, star of "Parks and Recreation," "Guardians of the Galaxy," and "Jurassic World."

Betty Ford struggled with addiction

Betty Ford served as First Lady of the United States for three years while her husband, Gerald Ford, served as president. Betty was outspoken and progressive, and though she left an admirable legacy for much of her work as First Lady, perhaps her most poignant was the awareness she brought to substance use disorders after publicly sharing that she had struggled herself. In 1978, Betty shocked the nation by sharing a piece of her medical history.

Per The Washington Post, Betty said, "I have found I am not only addicted to the medication I have been taking for my arthritis but also to alcohol." Betty sought treatment at the Long Beach Naval Hospital, and said, "This program is well known throughout the country, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to attend it. I expect this treatment and fellowship to be a solution for my problems. I embrace it, not only for me, but all the many others who are here to participate." Betty's candor inspired millions, and it eventually led her to found the Betty Ford Center, which, per the White House, is the best rehabilitation center in the country for substance use disorders.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).