Dads and their little girls -- it's often a special relationship. And even when you're the President of the United States, you want those special "dad" moments when your little girl passes milestones in her life. That's what Barack Obama was on Friday, June 10 -- just a dad attending his daughter Malia's high school graduation from the Sidwell Friends School in D.C.
Asked to Speak
The school had asked Obama if he would like to speak at the graduation. For a man who can produce a fast and informative speech, even on short notice, or sound like a well-rehearsed orator when giving interviews, this was not a hard decision. As Obama told Ellen DeGeneres when he appeared on her show,
"I'm going to be sitting there with dark glasses, sobbing "She's one of my best friends. And it's going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time. But she's ready to go. You can tell. She's just a really smart, capable person and she's ready to make her own way."
And just as he said, he showed up with his dark glasses (the event was held outside), stood and clapped when Malia received her diploma, and presented his first daughter with a bouquet of white roses afterward.
8 Years is A Lot of Growth and Change
Malia was only 10 years old when she moved into the White House. At 17, she has gone from an elementary school kid through the awkward middle school years, and is now a high school graduate. While the Obama's have tried to keep life as "normal" as possible for their girls (Sasha is 15), nothing can be normal when you're part of the First Family of the U.S., especially when you have to spend your teenage years there.
Lowering the Spotlight
While the Obamas tried to keep the girls out of the spotlight as much as possible, there is no way around the Secret Service protection, the flashing camera bulbs, and political enemies looking for anything to criticize. And Obama haters did try their very best.
Sometimes, shallow haters would comment on the girls' attire -- the skirts were too short, or too much "arm" was showing. They even tried to criticize the amount of money that was obviously being spent on their clothing. Imagine their dismay to discover that Malia wore a $48 dollar dress to meet the President of Cuba during the family's spring break trip to Latin America.
First daughter has been accepted to Harvard University but will not be attending until 2017. She plans to take a gap year, a common thing in Europe and just beginning to catch on here in the U.S. Her plans for the year have not been revealed, but according to Obama, as a guest on the Jimmy Fallon show recently,
"I think Malia is very eager to get out of here,"
It's possible that her plans may include work in the film making industry. She has already completed two internships with television stations.
Obama's to Stick Around