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Barack Obama Gives a Never-Before-Seen Peek at His Daughters’ ‘Badass’ Personalities

We really can’t get enough of former President Barack Obama’s quotes about being a dad to daughters Sasha and Malia. Maybe it has to do with the way when we look back at his presidency, we sometimes think of him being the country’s wise, kind father? While promoting his new book, A Promised Land, he gave a couple of real gems to InStyle about his “badass” daughters’ personalities.

Given how much the Obamas guarded the girls’ privacy over the years, his descriptions of 22-year-old Malia Obama and 19-year-old Sasha Obama come as news to us. Then again, is any father a truly objective source of information about his daughters? Anyway, this is what he said is the most badass thing about Sasha:

Sasha is, as Malia describes it, completely confident about her own take on the world and is not cowed or intimidated — and never has been — by anybody’s titles, anybody’s credentials,” he told the magazine. “If she thinks something’s wrong or right, she will say so.”

That sounds like a girl raised by Michelle Obama! Her dad then shared something that may sound familiar to any parent getting their kid to try something new.

“When she was 4, 5, 6 years old, once she made a decision, she would dig in and couldn’t be steered off it,” he told InStyle. “I write about it in the book, how we were trying to get her to taste caviar when we were visiting Russia. She was like, ‘Mnn-nnh. No. Sorry. That looks slimy. It’s nasty. I’m not going to do it — even if I’ve got to give up dessert.’ And that part of her character has always been there.”

Sasha’s older sister has a very different badass quality, her dad said.

“And Malia, she is just buoyant. She’s somebody who enjoys people, enjoys life, and enjoys conversation. She’s never bored, which is a badass quality that can take you places.”

So many warm and fuzzies seeing a father think of his girls this way.

A Promised Land $27.00 on

In the excerpt of the book InStyle acquired, we learn of another moment of great parenting, this time by Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham.

“Once, when she discovered I had been part of a group that was teasing a kid at school, she sat me down in front of her, lips pursed with disappointment. ‘You know, Barry,’ she said … ‘There are people in the world who think only about themselves. They don’t care what happens to other people so long as they get what they want.”

It seems that bit of wisdom stayed with the former president. Click over to InStyle to read more of his reflections on his grandparents and mother.

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