As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

The Obamas Should Remove the Girls from View

I don’t like writing pieces about the Obamas’ daughters. I wish the Obamas would keep them out of the spotlight. But they don’t. And so when articles about them start disappearing from the Internet, I’d be remiss not to say something, as many of you have urged me to do.

As is well known now, several news outlets initially reported that Malia Obama was spending spring break in Mexico. And then the articles just disappeared without a trace. The White House, it turned out, informed these publications that Malia’s security could be jeopardized and demanded that they be removed.

Normally, I support efforts to minimize reporting on a president’s children, especially when there are security issues involved.

But the Obamas have two problems here.

Official White House photo

First, they chose to send her to a narco-state for vacation. I’m sure she’ll be fine, and that they have not put her in jeopardy. But this is in part because she will be surrounded by a minor military operation.

Agence France-Presse reported that some 25 Secret Service agents have accompanied Malia and her friends on the trip.

I don’t know if this is accurate, though AFP is highly reputable. But it is safe to say that the U.S. Secret Service was probably forced to undertake a large scale security operation involving many agents so Malia could spend a few days in Mexico.

Americans have a right to know – at least after the fact – that such resources, paid for by them, are being brought to bear for an optional trip. Malia could have gone to Fort Lauderdale like everyone else.

The other problem for the Obamas is that they have made their daughters public figures. They are photographed everywhere with their parents, most recently last Sunday walking across Lafayette Park in front of the White House to church. They appear in official White House photos, and are referred to publicly by their parents.

I believe the main reason they expose the kids to the spotlight is that they are close to them and just see them as extensions of themselves.

But it also helps Obama politically, showing him with a loving, attractive family.

The Washington Post reported last month that the president’s reelection campaign is already using the children and may continue to do so.

A new Internet ad by the president’s reelection campaign features a portrait of the first family asking supporters to “help the Obamas stand up for working Americans.” The appeal, a departure from the typical Obama messaging, provides an early glimpse of the role the president’s wife and daughters are likely to play in his campaign.

In the months to come, political strategists expect to see the first family used as a political asset.

“The value of the family is enormous,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. “The more you know this family and the more you think of Barack Obama in these terms, the harder it is to vilify him.”

There’s a price for this. Their privacy is sacrificed.

I’m sure the Clintons and the Bushes were equally close to their kids, and equally tempted to make use of them politically. However, I’ve covered the White House since 1997, and I can count on one hand for each administration the number of times I actually saw the children. And I was physically at the White House nearly every day.

This determination to guard their privacy was so well known, that I’m willing to wager that the AFP reporter who first found out about Malia’s trip would have checked with the Bush or Clinton White House before writing anything were it one of their children.

The White House cannot expect that news organizations will obey dictates to only photograph the children when they are put on display by the Obamas. If they were rarely seen, they could expect compliance with their wishes. But not when they are so ubiquitous, and when they so clearly add to the president’s appeal.

If the Obamas want to make their children’s lives private, more power to them. I support it. But then they should do what their predecessors did, and remove them from the public stage.

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55 Responses to The Obamas Should Remove the Girls from View

  1. During the 2008 campaign, it was written that the daughters were known as the “wee Michelles,” and this early lesson in wasting taxpayer money for personal gratification certainly makes it looks as if Michelle Antoinette and The One are teaching their daughters that one grabs all one can legally get and to hell with consideration of others.

    No 13 year old who lives in the White House need a foreign vacation for her spring break week. It could have been explained to her that traveling requires heightened security meaning that taxpayer money is being spent. Part of the honor of serving the American people at the highest levels is giving up meaningless pleasures in consideration of not wasting the people’s tax money.

    Then the child could have gone to Camp David with a few friends and roasted marshmellows and had fun.

    But no — these people do not care about America — it is a place that they must reshape. And for the effort that they put in they feel they deserve everything they want. There are no rules about the FLOTUS office, for instance, and hasn’t MoochMORE stretched its privileges as far as she get think to stretch them? The One golfs and fund-raises and like a true Black Critical Theory follower (or whatever the b.s. title is) believes that he can pick and choose the laws to follow.

    And now the little Princess is prancing around the world just like Momma’s trip to Spain — no good reason for it, no justification for it, and it’s all supposed to be a secret because of security.

    It’s a secret because it makes her look like a Wee Michelle Antoinette.

  2. No one believes children should be highlighted. But if you put them out there…The reason given — security — for scrubbing the press of the report — should have been the consideration that prevented this decision from ever having been taken. And then after the press and Google in particular obeyed and did scrub their sites, Michelle Obama announced to one and all that her daughter was “safe” after the earthquake. The Obamas have put us in an awkward position with their bad decision making and we all know that any inquiry into the use of taxpayer monies will be the fault of Fox News, the Republicans, Rush Limbaugh and all the women and mini women haters on the Right. This Administration’s disdain for the country and its citizens continues to gobsmack.

    • The Obama’s said their princess was safe. No mention that the other children and the Secret Service were also safe – no care at all about them from the Obamas.

  3. What about the most glaring point? Did I miss something? Since when do 13 year old kids take a Spring Break vacation? I remember sometimes my family did some little thing around Easter time, But Spring breaks were for COLLEGE, not even high school, although that may have evolved some . But at 13?
    Hell, they are grooming her for being a public figure, and giving her some lessons in ‘trough feeding.’

    • My sentiments exactly, Mike. Especially at a time when most Americans are feeling the pinch, and some even (such as myself) lying awake at night, worry about the coming months.

      This is an outrage, and the Obama’s just don’t give a damn.

  4. Keith – well written. I do remember that we saw very little of Chelsea and the Bush daughters (and they were in college and adults when their dad was inaugurated). You are right – the Obama family can’t have it both ways. I tire of the mere suggestion that somehow that are such a unique family.

    • Bush had won a second term, before I realized he had twin daughters. THAT’s how private they were. And that’s how it should be: pushing the children out there at us is feeding the idea of an Obama Cult – if only he knew how most of us despise him.

  5. I have no doubt that the President and his wife love their children. However, the children are used a pawns in the political process when it is useful for Mr. O. How sad for the children.

    Well done, Keith. It needed to be said.

  6. When the daughter of a sitting President visits a foreign country for any reason, it’s news and should be reported. When that country is on a serious watch list by our own State Department, it’s really big news.

    The most common response to this trip by the 13yr old girl was “what were her parents thinking?”, the second was “who’s paying for all this”.
    The Obamas have a lot to answer about this trip.

  7. Perhaps, a consoling memory for this Obama girl will be that her father allowed her to take this vacation at taxpayer expense. Who knows? This vacation memory might be the only thing that prevents her from snapping in the future, when the full realization of her father being America’s biggest fraud, finally smacks her.

  8. Too late to put the genie back in the bottle. The double standards aren’t cutting it any longer. They have used their children politically since day one. One that really comes to mind is the bathroom visit by Malia where she asks “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?”. They can’t expect to use their children shamelessly then turn around and ask for privacy. Especially when the American taxpayer, who can barely afford to fill their gas tank, is the one footing the bill for their child’s “private” vacation.

  9. Keith, the official family portrait taken by Pete Souza is on an Obama/Biden campaign button and is for sale on their official reelection website for $5.00!! Evidentally, it’s causing quite a stir considering the photo is not allowed to be used for commercial purposes.

    What can you say? Obama has never played by the rules – he will do or say anything to promote himself! He is a political whore!

    OBAMA SALE OF FIRST FAMILY PHOTO TESTS CAMPAIGN RULES

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/obama-sale-of-first-family-photo-tests-campaign-rules/

    • Don’t you remember? Part of Derrick Bell’s “Critical Race Theory” (or something like that, I can never get the empty words straight in my mind) is that black people may pick and choose which laws to obey. I guess it goes for half-black Presidents, too.

  10. I expect the Obama’s to ramp up their use of the kids for reasons Keith mentioned, but I also think they are hoping someone in the conservative media says something even mildly insulting about one of the girls and then they will pounce with a manufactured outrage that will make the Fluke affair just a bad dream.

    • I believe you’ve hit the nail on the head, Wigglesworth. This is Obama’s history…push, push, push until someone balks and then label the balker “racist, unpatriotic, selfish” and “stupid”.

      Their iron-fisted control of the media is simply frightening.

  11. While the choices made by this president and his wife seem to be lacking on many levels, there is a much bigger issue.

    Mexico sent out the first article, then others. This administration had them pulled because they didn’t like it !! This is the issue ! It was only when there was an earthquake did they relent. The area they are in is in close proximity to one of the large drug cartels.

    Unless this year ABO is elected, Americans will suffer worse than we have these last 3+ years.

  12. “The White House cannot expect that news organizations will obey dictates…”

    Dictates?

    Interesting word choice, Keith. Tell us more.

  13. I agree with many of the comments here. The girls are used as props. But if they truly were worried about her safety why did they go to church on Sunday without her? And let the family be photographed without her? Not one person in the WH realized we’d be asking “Where’s Malia?” If they had stayed home like they normally do, we would not have been the wiser. Either they’re dumb or they are in your face arrogant.

  14. Keith, I think the WH also killed the story on the 9 Mexico police officers who were ambushed and murdered, along with 11 of their fellow officers who were injured. They were in the process of investigating 9 beheadings by the cartel just outside of Mexico City.

    FOX interrupted regular programing with a Breaking News alert on Monday afternoon – and there was absolutely no follow-up that I am aware of.

    I can see No Korea from my window!

  15. Again, my understanding is that Malia flew military (prob along with 25 SS people/babysitters and 3 heavy duty/military vehicles) and was rushed to the United terminal to make it look as if she had flown commercial, with the other kids (or whatever-they’re-calling-themselves-now, but at least we THINK it isn’t all Mom’s Chicago thugs/friends). More smoke and mirrors, and/but I understand this was common practice during the Carter Admin.
    It’s not easy to keep up.

  16. One last thing…..the Pope is expected to visit Mexico in 2 days – Mar 23. Should we expect to see a photo of Malia and the Pope? Might be good for the Catholic vote! I am assuming she is still there….

  17. You are too kind – the ONLY reason they include their children is political. You know it, I know it – most everyone knows it. As do we all know that everything Obama does has political motive. Every photo-op (the church pics), every utterance out of the mouths of both Obamas is for political power or gain.

    I’m not saying they aren’t loving parents – but they will use anyone and anything as a “prop” for political gain and to garner votes. Wasting taxpayer money on an unnecessary “vacation” for their daughter is typical of the entitlement mentality both Obamas model for their children. Mrs. Obama’s numerous “vacations” and the Air Force One boondoggle to a basketball game in Ohio with British Prime Minister Cameron is reprehensible. The Obamas thumb their noses at the American taxpayer at every turn and deserve no respect. I for one, have not one ounce of respect for Mr. OR Mrs. Obama. They are “users” and abusers. In my opinion, both Obamas have degraded the patriotic symbolism and dignity that America’s “Office of the President” once held and they have abused all privileges available to them. Taxpayers should be outraged. This taxpayer is and my elected officials have been contacted. Not that anything gets done about it.

  18. You are kind. The Obama’s will and do use the girls as props and as they are
    younger it makes it more disturbing. The Mexico trip for a 13 year old and an
    unknown group of hangers on is troubling on several levels. Did you see the few pictures that slipped out? Did she look miserable and those did not look
    like friends looked like a reward for donors kids for all we know. If they can
    scrub this then they can kill anything so we should all be very worried.
    Like the DeNero ‘joke’ MO never did say sorry because she loved the remark.
    We now have the fake sorry from her office and old Bob sorta but he meant it
    and she loved it so if we learn nothing from these events about this dangerous
    administration then we are in deep you know what!

  19. I actually feel for these girls named Obama. They have to live the rest of their lifetime being watched and in the spotlight of the Great One.

  20. I saw all these details very early — on a U.K. website! Nothing as yet was seen on US websites. Questions came to my mind as I wondered at the blase attitude of sending young teens to Mexico on “spring break”.

    1. Has the school done annual trips such as this trek to rather exotic albeit dangerous places?

    2. If not, who made the suggestion that it be done this year?

    3. If yes, did not the words “No, let’s treat the girls to a first class retreat to Camp David” EVER come to mind?

    To end: We spent 5 years in Holland in the 70’s, you know, when most of the world still feared and/or respected the U.S. Remember those days? There’s not EVEN a bit of a chance that I would have allowed one of my kids to go that distance without me!

  21. Well, weren’t the girls listed as “Senior Advisors” or something like that for the trip to Africa? If so, MO and BO have placed their children in the limelight by elevating them. If they want the US taxpayers to pay for trips like we did to Africa, we should be able to know when we are also paying for security for a whimsical trip to Mexico.

  22. I’m in a little squirmish on another forum with someone who insists this is a school trip,not a “spring break”. Does anyone know the facts? I don’t think it makes a difference. Poor judgement either way and on the backs of the taxpayers!

  23. “Malia could have gone to Fort Lauderdale like everyone else.” NO! Malia is 13! 13! She should be home OR WITH A PARENT on vacation for spring break!!! This is how our HARD EARNED money is spent?! I did not go on spring break UNTIL I could PAY FOR IT in college!

    My HUSBAND AND I are taking my 18 year old daughter and her friends to Florida for spring break this year as a graduation gift. This difference here – taking an RV and SPENDING OUR OWN MONEY!!!

    I am SO SICK OF THIS!!!

  24. Didn’t the Queen say she is teaching the Princesses south Chicago values? We are doomed. The American people are so blind they voted in this family and will probably re-elect them again.

    I REALLY don’t get it!

  25. “The value of the family is enormous,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. “The more you know this family and the more you think of Barack Obama in these terms, the harder it is to vilify him.”

    Nice try Celinda. Not difficult to vilify him at all. Trotting out a couple of girls does so little to mitigate against the sheer volume of other disgraceful things about this man.

  26. It’s hard to swallow the “transparency” twaddle, when you are being sheltered by your children. Are these the “South Chicago values, Mrs. Obama is teaching her children? Remember she was proud of that statement a few weeks ago.