Obama kids are happy campaigners, first lady says
DALLAS – Michelle Obama, who entered the 2008 presidential electoral season reluctant to go out in public and urge voters to support her husband, shared a surprising nugget of personal information: their kids love to campaign.
The first lady, who has been fiercely protective of her daughters Malia and Sasha and their privacy since Barack Obama became president, said that to the kids, the campaign trail was fun.
“They actually like campaigning,” Mrs Obama told a small group of reporters traveling with her on a three-day tour to promote her healthy eating and exercise “Let’s Move” program.
“Because when they were younger, when we were first running, what was campaigning? Campaigning was when you fly into a city with a bunch of young campaign workers who love kids and they took them for ice cream, everywhere.”
With a laugh, the first lady recalled how, after a day of campaigning for the 2008 election, she took stock of what her daughters had done while she was meeting voters and revving them up to elect her husband.
“One day, I counted it — this was before ‘Let’s Move’ — we were back on the plane and I found out exactly what they were doing when I was on the stage — they had had ice cream four times that day,” she said. “So Sasha’s like ‘I love campaigning.’ They have kind of a skewed (view).”
Obama said Malia and Sasha will be given the option to take part or not in the campaigning as their dad seeks re-election in November.
Asked what she had done to prepare her daughters for a potentially ugly battle to stay in the White House, Obama said she spelled out what would happen if their dad won and if he lost.
“I just try to play out both sides of the scenario. And make both sides seem great. So that they understand whatever happens, you guys are going to be good.”
Photo credits: First lady Michelle Obama during a stop on her three-day trip to mark the two-year anniversary of her “Let’s Move” initiative, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque