- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Daddy’s girls an asset to proud president
Obama discusses daughters on variety of national issues
Question of the Day
Barack Obama likes to talk about his kids. What parent doesn’t?
But Mr. Obama isn’t just another dad shooting the breeze about his kids’ antics in last night’s soccer game. He’s the president, and he brings up his daughters to explain his thinking on all sorts of combustible national issues.
He’s cited Sasha and Malia, now 10 and 13, in discussing everything from the rescue of an American aid worker from Somali pirates to the touchy subject of public access to emergency contraception. His daughters also are prominent in a family photo being used by his re-election campaign.
Most recently, Mr. Obama brought up his daughters when asked about conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s reference to college student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” after she testified that birth control should be covered by insurance.
Mr. Obama said at a news conference that he’d called Ms. Fluke after Mr. Limbaugh made his comments “because I thought about Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way, and I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re good citizens.”
Invoking his daughters is a way for Mr. Obama to bring big issues down to human scale, in a disarming way. It also is a reminder to Americans of the president’s photogenic family — a priceless political asset in an election year.
The Obamas can be fiercely protective of their daughters’ privacy in some ways — complaining if the girls are photographed while out on their own, for example — but they’ve been more than willing to keep bringing them up in the national conversation. And to keep them in the minds of voters as the general election approaches.
A few months ago, Mr. Obama brought up the girls in talking about the government’s decision to keep the Plan B morning-after pill available only to those 17 or older, rather than allowing it to be openly sold on drugstore shelves.
“As the father of two daughters, I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine,” Mr. Obama said. He went on to say the drug shouldn’t be available for sale to young girls, “and I think most parents would probably feel the same way.”
In January, when an American aid worker was rescued from Somali pirates by Navy SEALs, Mr. Obama thought aloud about what her father had gone through, and about his own daughters.
First lady Michelle Obama, for her part, frequently brings up her daughters while talking about her campaign against childhood obesity. She often tells about how the girls were starting to get off-track before the family’s pediatrician gave her a wake-up call.
TWT Video Picks
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- SOWELL:Bordering on immigration madness
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq