No one has the former leader of the free world wrapped around her finger like Malia Obama. In a recent appearance on We Can Do Hard Things, Michelle Obama explained to host Glennon Doyle that her firstborn Malia, now 24, always knew how to get what she wanted from her dad.
As a teenager, when she wanted to go out on the weekend, she would give her dad 15 minutes of her attention. By the time her mental timer had gone off, she would have it in the bag.
“She would go into a treaty room in the White House and she’d ask him, ‘So tell me about Syria’ and ‘Whoa, I saw that you gave a speech on blah, blah, blah,'” Michelle said. “She’d just go in and he’d come out with his chest pumped up.”
The former first lady would then have to burst her husband’s bubble. She would ask if he knew where his daughter was going this weekend, and he would realize he hadn’t even asked.
Well played, Malia. Well played. We are going to have to keep an eye out for that one.
“[I’d say], ‘That’s some jiujitsu on you because you were so thrilled with the fact that she took interest in your presidency that you don’t even know what she’s doing,'” Michelle said.
Sasha, on the other hand — who is now 21 — had no interest in feigning attentiveness to her dad’s politics. Michelle said Sasha was far from a people pleaser, called her dad annoying, and had a “don’t touch me and don’t look at me” policy. Barack was stunned, but his wife insisted their daughter would come around.
“And now at 21, they just got off the phone last night,” she said. “She called him looking for advice. It just took longer.”
Yay! We love a redemption tale.
“We used to joke like, ‘Barack is so scared of Sasha, he’s so desperately trying to win her approval.'” Michelle said. “And she was having none of it. If you care too much about them liking you, you are already losing.”
Well, talk about a rude awakening.
Despite their differences — “They’re different kids. And so that can take you for a loop, right?” — the Obama girls have a loving relationship that has only grown stronger as they’ve grown older. The two are now living together in California, and Michelle could not be happier.
“It is the best feeling in the world,” she said. “And my kids have, they’re already accomplishing some pretty amazing things out there. They’re great students. They remained sane in a pretty unusual childhood. They managed the negative and positive attention. Great grades, gone to great colleges. But the truth is, is that when I see them building community with each other and taking that out and staying connected to their friends and creating their own rituals, I don’t doubt that they can do the work that comes.”
Before you go, check out Michelle Obama’s best quotes about being a mom.
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