News & Politics

Crawford, Texas Heads to the Silver Screen

A new film asks the question, “What happens when the President moves to town?”

May wedding bells will ring for Jenna Bush and Henry Hager, but Washington won’t see any of the action—the First Wedding honors go instead to the Western White House in Crawford, Texas, the ranch then Governor Bush bought in 1999.

The town—population 705—has been George W. Bush’s home away from Washington for more than 450 days of his presidency, inspiring a new film, Crawford, this spring from Austin director David Modigliani that answers the question “What happens when the President moves to town?”

Modigliani chronicles the ups and downs of the Bush/Crawford relationship from its beginnings and boom in tourism to the Cindy Sheehan–led protesters who descended in 2005. The documentary’s bottom line: The town has strong divisions over its most famous resident.

One theme is the impact of the White House press corps on Crawford. Most of the pressies are happy that Jenna’s wedding and this August’s planned Bush vacation will be their final days reporting in the hot Texas sun. And the movie suggests that the feeling of the residents is mutual.

This article appears in the May 2008 issue of Washingtonian. To see more articles in this issue, click here.

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