When “First Children” Go Wild: 5 Times Children Of The White House Were Caught Making Bad Decisions

presidents children caught making bad decisions

Growing up in the White House may sound like a dream come true, but having the Secret Service on your tail 24/7 likely gets old fairly quickly. Once the “First Children” reach those rebellious teenage years, they quickly become a nightmare to keep tabs on and have even been known to do their best to ditch their chaperons. They may be a nuisance for the Secret Service, but once these kids reach college, the media has a field day with stories revealing their partying habits. Some, which fail to fade with age. Here are some of the most shocking cases where the president’s children were caught making bad decisions.

Bush Twins Caught With Fake IDs

Known for their partying ways, Jenna and Barbara Bush hardly had an interest in politics or their father’s career. What did interest them, however, were New York City’s finest clubs and restaurants where they frequently spent their time as teens. At nineteen-years-old, the wild duo was caught trying to buy drinks with an ID that wasn’t theirs at a trendy Mexican restaurant, and the world went nuts over it. The restaurant manager was accused of recognizing the Bush twins and using the situation to his advantage, perhaps for free publicity. He called the cops, and the girls (now women) will certainly never live it down. While this is a typical thing for teens to do, the world saw it as incredibly scandalous even though both Jenna and Barbara had been reportedly been caught doing far worse. Aside from working hard to ditch the Secret Service and often treating them like chauffers, Jenna had been arrested for underage drinking prior to this incident where she was charged a small fine and made to do community service. She also had the Secret Service bail her then boyfriend out of jail after he had a rough night at the bar and was arrested for public intoxication. Barbara, on the other hand, was caught heading to a party wearing nothing but bubble wrap as the motto at the door was “The less you wear, the less you pay.” All in all, these girls sound like they were a hell of a good time.

John Payne Todd’s Gambling Addiction

presidents children caught making bad decisionspresidents children caught making bad decisions

Rebellious children in the White House is hardly a new concept, as the stories date back to over a hundred years. John Payne Todd (left photo) was the adopted son of James Madison (right photo) as he was the product of Dolley Madison’s first marriage. While Madison was in office from 1809 to 1817, his son was known as a heavy drinker and avid gambler. Todd actually ended up gambling away most of his family’s money and was sent to prison for failing to pay his debts. In order to shield Dolley from her son’s indiscretions, Madison would pay off the gambling debts by selling small pieces of their land. After he died, however, Dolley was forced to sell her family plantation as well as some of her late husband’s presidential documents and belongings to get Todd out of debt. Talk about mother of the year!

Patti Davis’ Tell-All Book

presidents children caught making bad decisions

When former president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy learned that their daughter, Patti Davis, was writing a book they likely didn’t expect to read all of their family drama splashed across the pages. Disguised as a novel about a girl whose father is governor turned president, it didn’t take the Reagan family or the media very long to see that the book was far from fictional. Titled Home Front, it was reported that when Davis went on her book tour and stayed in Washington DC for a night, she got a hotel room rather than staying with her parents in the White House. Likely she wasn’t invited, as her mother hardly made it a secret that the two were feuding over the contents of this book. The would later reconcile, but Davis’ rebellious ways were just beginning. She later posed for Playboy and even starred in a pornographic video that was likely popular upon its release to VHS. Davis also wrote many more books, several which didn’t hide the fact that she was dishing the dirt on her family’s time in DC.

Malia Obama On The Ground At Lollapalooza

Malia Obama has certainly let loose since her father left the White House. In this video, it’s hard to say if she was on drugs or she simply can’t dance but either way, she was filmed having quite a good time at Lollapalooza. Perhaps the stress of Trump being in office is getting to her, but Malia has been caught partying pretty hard lately smoking weed, playing beer pong, making out with her boyfriend, and you know, doing what college kids do. She was taken out of the music festival via golf cart, where the photos make it appear like she might have had a tad too much fun. On the bright side, she’s helping her fellow classmates pay off their student loans by selling these photos and videos of her to TMZ!

Alice Roosevelt Caught Wearing Pants

That’s right folks! The dear daughter of former president Teddy Roosevelt had the nerve to wear pants in public. Hardly a reason to panic these days, in the late 1800’s it was seen as crude and undoubtedly unladylike. Recognized as a fashion icon and all-around party gal, Alice Roosevelt certainly marched to the beat of her own drum. She was sassy and unapologetic and was once described by a friend as a “young wild animal that had been put into good clothes.” Alice would often make the front page of papers, caught smoking or gambling. She would even be seen racing her car up and down streets, often with male passengers and no chaperone. (Oh my!) Young Alice would go off and do her own thing, partying with friends in Newport or on the Vanderbilt’s private railroad car. Her antics would always get back to her father who once wrote her an angry letter about her behavior, to which she responded by burning it. Even in her 90’s, she’d reminisce about her behavior among friends without apology and certainly without regret. Talk about an icon!


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Rose Burke

Freelance writer and art enthusiast, Rose Burke, often writes humorous essays inspired by awkward dating experiences and life’s cruel sense of humor. When she's not doing that, she's typically writing entertainment articles on women's issues, politics, feminism, and other trending topics her readers love. Her work has been published in The Southampton Review, The Conium Review, The Richest, The Independent, CINEMABLEND, and more. Author of the popular feminist blog series "Writings of the Satirical Feminista," Rose is currently focusing on a collection of humorous personal essays while she travels the world.


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