Did you break something at the White House?

March 13, 2009

Somebody did. And Michelle Obama knows who you are.

Talking in a television interview about how her family is adjusting to life in the White House, the first lady said her young daughters Sasha and Malia had been behaving well in the grand house filled with antiques and historic artifacts.

“We’ve had some guests who’ve broken some things but not the kids,” she said with a laugh in the interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America”.  “And they know who they are.”

Obama said her daughters have “done their popping” in to see their dad at work in the Oval Office and have generally adjusted well to their new life in Washington.OBAMA/

“They’re doing great. And I think they’re doing great because I’ve been able to strike a balance,” she said. “I still have time to be home for homework. And to make sure I’m there before they leave and to go to their parent-teacher conferences.”

The first lady said after the grueling, two-year campaign it was nice to have the whole family together for dinner every night at the White House.

OBAMA/“There’s time to breathe a little bit, at least as a family,” she said. “We’re breathing in a way that we haven’t breathed in a long time. And it feels good.”

Obama said her mother, Marian Robinson, helped with the transition in part because she’s “so nonimpressed by any of this. She keeps all of our feet on the ground.”

Photo credits: Reuters/Jason Reed (Sasha Obama runs towards the White House after returning via helicopter from a weekend at Camp David)   Reuters/Joshua Roberts (Obama smiles as he walks past a play set he had constructed for his daughters near the Oval Office)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I believe that Michelle and her Husband are great parents. And I am sure that America will benefit with their presence in the White house.

Posted by Gaurav Tiwari | Report as abusive

The Obamas are fine role models in a time when our youth culture really needs it.

Posted by Earl Panton | Report as abusive

Barack and Michelle are a breath of fresh air. By bringing up their children in sensible ways they are setting an excellent example, exemplary parents. Obviously the family is settling in very well. Michelle’s decision to put her children first will pay rich dividends. Being in the spot-light constantly could be unnerving but the first-couple are taking things in their stride.

Posted by Pancha Chandra | Report as abusive

I love that the First Lady mentioned not only being home for homework, but attending parent-teacher conferences. Conferences are one of the two best ways to really understand how your children are doing in school and grasp the philosophy of the teacher. (The other don’t-miss event is Back-to-School night, by the way.)

Posted by Family Homework Answers | Report as abusive

Just start moving all the “Toxic Assets” to a Federal Special Bank, no need to pay anyone to do this basic initial move.

In my opinion, President Obama,Vice-President Biden and Congress can right now put all the toxic assets from every financial institution in a Special Federal Holding Bank supervised by Congress and the White House – where in 2 to 3 years they will be very valuable while collecting some income and may be re-purchased again by these same banks later – and just without these toxic-assets in their books the stock of all these Institutions will go up 15 to 30 % in weeks, just the Legislation action will make the bankers and investors see with confidence ,with clarity and there will be no need to pay anyone, including the Hedge-Funds that got us into this financial mess ,any money, because just getting the Banks to download that “Toxic Financial Waste” is worth 2 trillion dollars for these Institutions, why pay them too ? the Banks can get the market value and some interest from their books losses.

And because if the Obama-Biden Adm. gives the money away ,the day after,the Media ( the same Media controlled by these same Hedge-Funds ) will blame the Obama-Biden Administration of incompetence and corruption for giving the Hedge-Funds a 2 trillion dollar gift for “nothing”, so I urge President Obama,VP.Biden and Congress to first pass those assets to a Federal Special Bank, and then see how the market value of these Institutions goes up day by day, there is no need to give more money to the Hedge-Funds, but of course the Geithner-Bernanke-Summers-Orszag-Shapiro -Shumer group is only interested in getting another shot of USA Taxpayers money to the Hedge-Funds in their organized group which is bankrupt : with A.I.G. , Bear Stearns, Lehman , Merrill and Madoff out of the play and the War contracts winding down , they are a bit down too , right ? enough is enough !

Posted by financialtools1 | Report as abusive

I agree the Obama’s are loving parents and the girls are so secure in their lives because of Barack and Michelle. It is great to see the swing set the Obama’s put in and to have such young ladies in the White House. Thank you

Posted by Alice Chavez | Report as abusive

I believe Michelle and her Husband are absent parents. I am sure the children will benefit with Grandma Marian Robinson’s presence in the WH.

I have a dream one day Michelle will quit hosting WH partaaays, stop making visits with political speeches to non-partisan government offices, not focus on using her employee discount in the WH gift shop for visiting dignitaries, and be proud of America.

Posted by FeFe | Report as abusive

Of course they are… they can afford to send their kids to the top private schools, and pay for nannies to watch their every move outside school. This family has been politically connected since the children were toddlers, or before. They haven’t know real life, only life as a benefactor of government subsidies. Not that their experience is much different then your average career politician offspring, but don’t get too impressed by the Obama’s child rearing skills. Their primary concern is turning the country toward more dependence on the government, all the while they’re shielding their own children from the negative impacts of that government control. Typical hypocritical move from an insider politician who is way over his head.

Posted by Ried Smith | Report as abusive

I see pictures of the Obama girls and they always make me smile. I have a nine yr. old girl myself and I see so many similarities between them.
Wearing play clothes that aren’t always matchy-matchy shows a very down-to-earth family, IMO.
Ex.The fact that Michelle Obama is wise enough to wear flats all of the time. Life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes.lol
I know that the Chinese curse is to live in “interesting” times, but I think it is exciting living in THESE times.

Posted by Jude | Report as abusive

Can you imagine what it must be like at a Parent/Teacher conference. The Secret Service advance team shows up a week beforehand, frisks the teacher, run dogs through the school, question everybody (including the students and their parents), puts snipers on the roof, and block off traffic for three miles. Does anybody think I’m kidding?

Posted by Carl | Report as abusive

I can’t believe ho much you guys are drooling over these two. What example are they setting for their kids? To surround themselves with criminals, both blue collar and white collar, and then deny any involvement when the stuff hits the fan. To go to church and befriend a racist minister, using him as your guiding light and mentor for decades, and then deny knowing him when the stuff hits the fan. To ally yourself with a subversive group that is known to stuff ballot boxes across the country, being their legal representation for at least a decade, and then deny knowing them when the stuff hits the fan. The only example these guys are giving their kids is how to stay out of trouble through deniability. John Gotti tried that too and he ended up dying in prison of cancer. Trust me, the Obamas are no where near being a “Teflon Don”. Wake up and smell the coffee, drones, and realize “your messiah” is a crook, bought and paid for.

Posted by Nancy | Report as abusive

Thanks for this story. I love the Obamas.

Posted by DeloresT | Report as abusive

The hatred from the right is so sad. We had to put up with the insanity of Bush/Cheney for 8 years. Let’s give Obama more than a few weeks. It’s can’t be as bad as Bush and his Iraq invasion which costs this country billions. I don’t worry about terrorists, but homegrown haters keep me in prayer.

Posted by DeloresT | Report as abusive

This man is now the (elected!) President of these United States, thank the lord. Bush and Cheney et al are criminals, and surrounded themselves with criminals that had the Bush administration blessing. Obama brings dignity and sanity back to the reputation of this country, and has more honesty in his little finger than all of Bush’s cronies ever did. I’m glad we have hope, more than we had with republicans running this country – into the ground.

Posted by Pat | Report as abusive

As a retired person, I log on to newspapers from around the country just to smile and read blogs from the
vicious bigots that are so frustrated that a Democrat
is in the Whiye House. Especially a man that is not white.
I’ll bet Trent Lott still can’t sleep at night.

Posted by Richard Daly | Report as abusive

richard daly we got that during the campaign ,if you are not for obama your a racist,recently a congressman suggested the same thing,that any opposition to obamas spend plans is because we are racists.we live in a democracy but only if we agree with the liberals.we hear now as soon as bush was elected there was a conspiracy by carvel and company to obstruct bush and tarnish is reputation from day one of his presidency,and yet we have to stay clear of obama because he is black,give me a break.i disagree with obama because i don,t agree with his policies i don,t think we should spend money we don,t have.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Please people, we have no real idea how the Obama’s are raising or treating their children. I am in no way suggesting that the girls are not adored treated well, but we don’t really know. It’s all part of the beautiful media image they work so hard to project. I voted for Barack and hope he really has the will and the skill to dig us out of the deep hole the last administration left for him. That said, I have not been impressed by the way he and his wife have trotted the children out and placed them in the spotlight time and time again. It’s a blatant use of those lovely little girls for their own political gain, and they should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Marla | Report as abusive

brian lee, the point i’m making is that the republican party has a clear history of racism. Obama has little to do with it. The bigotry of the party has been there since it’s inception.
Any minority voter that votes for any republican is clearly an uninformed voter that needs to read the history of the party.

Posted by Richard Daly | Report as abusive

Michelle Obama brags about what a good mom she is, then the press reports what she said. Is there anyome that can cofirm this report? It sound like gramma is raising the kid (while Michelle is at the photoshoots).

Posted by tina | Report as abusive

if obama goes through this term and the next,thats if he does not screw up(sorry racist remark again)and his legacy is based the liberal perception of the republican party and the mistakes that bush made, it is not going to hold water long term.he needs to achieve some thing on his own the expectations that people like your self have heaped on him gives the impression he came from gothem city not chicago,and i don,t feed into this tv reality show.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Grandma getting a free ride on the shoulders of the American taxpayer while B&M get use of AF1 and M1 weekends in ChiTown and beaches of HI; plus the Wed night hoe-downs at the WH. I’m broke and I want my refund. Who’s got any extra $ anyway to buy any of the O-clad fashion rags with the first O-couple laughing their tails off to the bank-of-O.

Posted by John Q. American | Report as abusive

Richard Daly, you should read history. It was a Republican president that freed the slaves and a republican congress that passed the equal rights amendment.

Posted by bob | Report as abusive

Richard Daly. It was a republican that set the slaves free. Also, there is a democratic US senator, who is currently serving, who was a card carrying member of the KKK (however everyone never makes an issue of it because he is a democrat).

So, before you throw stones, you should get your history and facts straight.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Could we please skip the dribble? Who cares? There are far more important things going on in the world.

michelle obama is BORING….move on… nothing to see here….

Posted by indie | Report as abusive

Any minority voter that votes for any republican is clearly an uninformed voter that needs to read the history of the party.
– Posted by Richard Daly

Democrats have their share of historic bigotry too. In fact a larger percentage of democrats were against passage of the civil rights act of 1964 than republicans.

It seems the very folks who claim ‘racism’ any time Obama is criticized are so fixated on skin color, they can’t see beyond their own myopic biases. Believe it or not, some people are a lot more concerned about a person’s ideology than just the color of his skin!

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive