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Jennifer Fitzgerald
Jennifer Ann Isobel Patteson-Knight
File:Jennifer Fitzgerald.jpg
Jennifer Fitzgerald, date unknown but ca. 2000
Born 1932
Occupation diplomat
Contact {{{contact}}}

Jennifer Fitzgerald (born Jennifer Ann Isobel Patteson-Knight in 1932) is a British-born retired U.S. diplomat. During her career, she worked for George H. W. Bush in several different capacities. Fitzgerald was born in England and came to the U.S. with her parents as a child. She has been married twice.

Fitzgerald first met Bush in Washington in 1974 during the Watergate scandal, when she was working for one of the officials of the Republican National Committee of which he was chairman.[1] She left a White House position to become Bush's secretary (on the recommendation of Dean Burch) after he was appointed United States Ambassador to China.[2] Bush wanted Fitzgerald to act as a "buffer" between his office and the State Department, in a role he envisaged as similar to that of Tap Bennett at the United Nations.[2] When Bush left his ambassadorial post to become Director of Central Intelligence, Fitzgerald went to Langley as his assistant. The next year, when Bush left the CIA following the change of administration and returned, temporarily, to the private sector, he arranged for Fitzgerald to stay in public service, as a special assistant to former Yale University president Kingman Brewster, then serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom.

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During the presidency of Ronald Reagan, Fitzgerald was Bush's executive assistant.[1] In 1984, Fitzgerald accompanied Bush to Geneva for disarmament talks. Bush reassigned Fitzgerald to be his chief lobbyist to Congress as he prepared to run to succeed Reagan.[1] On October 20, 1988, Dukakis campaign field director Donna Brazile told a group of reporters that Bush needed to "fess up" about rumors of an extramarital liaison. She resigned from the campaign the following day and Dukakis subsequently made a personal apology to Bush for the remark. After Bush won election, Fitzgerald was transferred to the State Department as deputy chief of protocol.

In 1990, Fitzgerald was suspended for two weeks without pay after the United States Customs Service fined her US$648 for failing to declare a silver-fox cape (worth $1,300) and inaccurately describing the value of a furlined raincoat ($1,100) after attending the inauguration of Argentinian President Carlos Menem as part of an official delegation.[1]

After Bill Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, Republicans made much of disclosures about Clinton's affair with Gennifer Flowers. In an interview with the Boston Globe on May 14, 1992, Michael Dukakis' mother, Euterpe Dukakis, alleged that Bush had committed adultery, but did not name with whom. Hillary Clinton mentioned Fitzgerald in an interview with Vanity Fair, but her last name was not used. The New York Post published a story called “The Bush affair” on the front page of its August 11 edition, including photos of Bush and Fitzgerald.[1] CNN's Mary Tillotson asked Bush the question directly. "I'm not going to take any sleazy questions like that from CNN," he responded, visibly agitated. Later Marlin Fitzwater, his press secretary, told other White House reporters that Tillotson would never work there again.[3] The next day George W. Bush called her on his father's behalf and repeated his 1988 denial, almost word-for-word[3].

Two Clinton appointees lost their jobs at State in September 1993 as a result of sharing information from the personnel files of Fitzgerald and fellow Bush appointee Elizabeth Tamposi, who, ironically, had lost her own position as the result of a controversial search through Bill Clinton's passport files.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Template:Cite news
  2. ^ a b Template:Citation/core
  3. ^ a b LeBoutillier, John (February 12, 2001) (see [1]) "Why the Bushes Will Never Hire Linda Tripp."
  4. ^ Pincus, Walter (September 3, 1993). "State Dept. to Probe Access to Personnel Files", Washington Post; Pincus, Walter (November 11, 1993). "2 State Dept. Political Aides Fired For Disclosing Personnel File Data." The Washington Post.

Further reading

  • Kelley, Kitty (2004). The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty. New York: Doubleday. ISBN: 0385503245.
  • Radcliffe, Donnie (August 13, 1992). "The First Lady's Fighting Words: An Angry Mrs. Bush Lashes Out at Media `Lies' and Attack Politics." The Washington Post.