Tales from the Trail

Obama kids are happy campaigners, first lady says

The Obamas return home after their vacation in Hawaii, January 3, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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.”

Even Obama didn’t make the cut for Chelsea’s wedding

Friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton who didn’t get invited to daughter Chelsea’s wedding now have something to take the sting off.

President Barack Obama didn’t get invited either (and the mother of the bride is a member of his Cabinet).

OBAMA/Barbara Walters asked him bluntly on ABC’s “The View” whether he was invited to the wedding of the year.

Washington Extra

The Obama administration admitted today that the economy was facing “strong headwinds” and that government finances were on an unsustainable path. Not a great backdrop as we head into November’s elections, as the White House is only too well aware.

OBAMA-ECONOMY/JOBSBut at least the president is trying to set a good example himself. Yesterday we heard how the Obama family was putting its vacations to work for the good of the economy, visiting the Florida Gulf Coast where tourism has been savaged by the oil spill. Now we learn that the First Daughters are getting lessons in managing their money wisely. Not only do Malia and Sasha have their own savings accounts, but they are nearly ready to start earning money babysitting. While those are valuable lessons for a 12 and nine-year-old girl, I am not sure how the $10 an hour they might earn would cover the costs of their driver and armed guard.

Otherwise, today’s highlights include an analysis of the resurgent fortunes of Sarah Palin and her increasingly influential role in the run up to the November mid-terms. And take a look too at our examination of what might be in store when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveils a stripped down energy bill next week.

Obama girls get their own presidential lecture on fiscal responsibility

Just because they live in the White House doesn’t mean they can’t earn a little pocket money.

President Barack Obama says his daughters get an allowance and are nearing an age when they can earn some working capital by babystitting. OBAMA/

(We’re thinking the client’s child would be among the most protected on the planet because the babysitters come with their own bodyguards).

Sasha and Malia Obama coy about Dad’s presents

Sasha and Malia Obama are keeping quiet about what they’ve got their father for Christmas, who has publicly complained that the rule in their household is that he gives the best gifts.

OBAMA/“It’s something he likes,” Sasha, his youngest daughter, said during a visit with her mother to the Childrens’ National Medical Center in Washington. First lady Michelle Obama confided that she was giving him “sports stuff.”
Michelle and the girls together with the first dog Bo visited the center in keeping with longstanding White House tradition and met afterward with some of the children, who wanted to know how many Christmas trees there were in the White House.

This proved a tricky one, with Michelle appealing to her staff for help before Sasha informed everyone that it was 26, although elder sister Malia pointed out that “unfortunately, you don’t get presents under all of them.” 

Official Obama family portrait is in, Bo is not

The official portrait of the first family is in.


There’s Sasha, the youngest at 8 years old, casually draping her arm over the shoulder of the president of the United States.

Older sister Malia embraces her mom, first lady Michelle Obama, as they all sit for their first official first family portrait in the Green Room at the White House on Sept. 1.

It is the work of portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz, known for some of the most famous celebrity photographs of our time — Demi Moore pregnant and nude on the cover of Vanity Fair, and a nude John Lennon curled around Yoko Ono for the cover of Rolling Stone taken on the day of Lennon’s death. OBAMA/

Girl Power hits the White House

President Barack Obama, who is surrounded by women at home – wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia – on Wednesday declared Girl Power a priority for the federal government.

In creating the White House Council on Women and Girls, which will include members of his Cabinet, Obama said he wanted to make sure that women and girls were treated fairly in all matters of public policy.

“We have many of those Cabinet members here. Some of the men showed up — we put them in the second row,” Obama said to laughter at an event to sign the executive order creating the council.

Bush twins offer advice to Sasha & Malia Obama

In the White House, it’s tradition for the outgoing president to leave a note for his successor.

This year, President George W. Bush’s twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, decided to leave their own letter for President Barack Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia.

Entitled “Playing House in the White House,” the letter is full of the Bush daughters’ memories of first coming to the White House when they were 7 years old when their grandfather – George H.W. Bush – was sworn in as president.

Obama’s pet care advice: remember the poop

 USA-OBAMA/CHICAGO – Pay attention, you puppy-loving kids. The future president of the United States says if you want a dog, you have to be able to take care of it. That includes cleaning up the, er, poop.

Sitting on a chair at an elementary school in front of a cross-legged group of children ranging from about 6 to 9 years old, Barack Obama told them how he had promised his young daughters Sasha and Malia that they could get a dog to bring to the White House.

“They’ve been asking for a dog for years now,” said Obama, adding that he wanted to make sure the girls were old enough to take care of a pet before getting them one.