Barack Obama is in the spotlight. All eyes are on him. We want to know his every move, thought and decision. It was surprising, with all the turmoil this country has to deal with, that one of the most focused upon questions during his first press conference as President Elect was what kind of dog he plans to get. This has become one of the biggest stories in the past couple of days. Blogs have been reaching out to give him advice, Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested that he think about a cat instead and animal rights groups are campaigning for a shelter dog. I don’t know what exactly this intense interest means about us as a country. Perhaps it just cements my previous belief that Americans on the whole are an animal loving people. However, I think the real reason this holds so much interest for the public is because it pertains to Barack Obama “the father,” and by extension to his two young daughters Sasha (7) and Malia (10).
I almost feel sorry for these girls. Their lives are going to change immensely. Not only are they being uprooted from their home, school, friends and daily lives, but they will be under public observation 24/7. A simple trip out for ice cream will now involve secret service security detail, paparazzi and most likely appearances on the evening news. They will be forced to go through those awkward teenage years with all of us watching them, judging them and offering them “advice.” Makes me tired just thinking about it.
Already the dresses they wore on November 4th have sold out as the American public clamors for a piece of America’s first kids. I recently heard TV pundits debating about whether or not the Obama’s will choose public or private school. I’m sorry, but when did that become our business? We are entitled to know what Barack Obama intends to do about domestic and foreign policy. We are not entitled to inquire and comment on his personal family choices.
Many are focusing on the fun and positive things about moving into the White House. A private bowling alley! 24 hour staff! Personal chefs! Maids! People Magazine has written an article about it. I don’t know though. Isn’t some of the joy of living taken away when it has to be done under a microscope? Wouldn’t you get tired of having a ‘staff’ around all the time? What if all you really want for lunch is a peanut butter sandwich made by your mom? Hopefully Sasha and Malia will not lose all these simple pleasures. Luckily for them Michelle Obama seems to be a woman of strong values who will do her best to raise the girls as normally as she can. She has already stated that soccer and dance will continue, and I have a feeling the girls will still be expected to do their chores regardless of the maids.
I too have a curious interest in the Obama family. How could you not? They’re so damn likeable. So photogenic. So stylish. So incredibly endearing. However, I am willing to forgo knowing their every move and decision so that these girls can maintain some sense of privacy. I don’t need to see their birthday party pictures and I don’t want any input on where they go to school. I sincerely hope the media give these kids a break. However, if Barack Obama wants to tell us what they decide to name the new dog I wouldn’t object.