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Is Obama Exploiting His Daughters? Now, Really!

5 years ago
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NEW YORK -- As if they didn't have enough on their plate, what with setting the political agenda and overturning establishment candidates, Republican and Democrat, in a good number of primaries, some conservatives with nothing better to do are huffing and puffing again at our beleaguered president.
The latest Obama goof? The spirited commentators on the right are accusing President Obama, who is already prematurely gray from so much heave and ho, with exploiting his young daughters to sell his latest book. The girls, Sasha and Malia, and their dog, Bo, are shown bouncing along on the sunny illustration that serves as the upbeat book jacket for Obama's "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters."
Now, really, what's the fuss? It's a children's book, for goodness sakes. It makes sense that the likeness of his daughters would adorn the book's cover jacket. Was he exploiting the girls? Really! Are we not being a little ridiculous here?
True, Obama seemed to lay down the law regarding the girls back in July 2008, after his daughters appeared on "Access Hollywood,'' when he told ABC, "I don't think it's healthy and it's something that we'll be avoiding in the future." There has since been a rule that his daughters are off limits to the media, though we've seen plenty of them, mostly on vacation (see how tall they are getting!) in Spain, in Panama City, Fla., and most recently on Martha's Vineyard last month.
That's hardly exploitation. Come on! Yet, Byron York, the chief political correspondent of the Washington Examiner, warned in a column on Tuesday: "...It's been a rule the president has observed at times and ignored at others. Now, it appears, is one of those times he's ignoring it."
So here's the big deal York is mouthing about. The book, a slim 40 pages (Alfred A. Knopf, $17.99 at stores, $9.89 on is part of a three-book $1.9 million deal Obama signed before he became president, says Politics Daily's Lynn Sweet. This isn't a case of the president cashing in on his exalted title and position.
As to the mushy title, which some people have moaned about, I'd guess that Obama or his publisher was trying to keep to the theme he started with his first memoir, Dreams From My Father. Now we've got Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.. Next, Sonnets to My Michelle? Just kidding. Don't mean to offend.
Prickly conservatives who are making a to-do about the illustration of the Obama girls or the book title have momentarily lost their heads (not that that is unusual). I can think of half a dozen things to get on Obama about, but exploiting his daughters is just so far-fetched it's funny.
Remember in 2008 when MSNBC's David Shuster, a rabid Obama backer, accused the Clintons of exploiting their daughter, Chelsea, then in her 20s, by having her go on the campaign trail with her mother? They were "pimping her out," is the crude way Shuster put it. Now, Byron York is hardly such a low sort. Still, he's reaching far out.
Even the most mulish Tea Party advocate should know that. But then they can't help it. They are giddy setting the political agenda and having their every pronouncement taken to heart by wounded liberals who seem to be aching and bleeding.

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Not sure what you mean by 'wounded liberals.' I'm not wounded. I'm just watching in wonderment as the Republican Party cannibalizes itself. Anyone who thinks the teacup party is gonna prevail is as delusional as the Queen of Hearts.

September 15 2010 at 1:24 PM
Nancy B. Crowder

He's getting gray because of so much "heave and ho?" It sounds like this author is blaming the Republicans. EVERY president turns prematurely gray. There is nothing going on in politics but a blame game. I don't care about the book. He needs to get on with business and get this country back on track. I very much doubt he's capable of this seeing the mess we're now in.

September 15 2010 at 1:22 PM

It's just amazing that the political shills (paid and unpaid) who lurk around these forums looking for an opportunity to throw a little mud whenever possible, can't find something better to do than to attack a children's book. It would seem they should be worried that being SO upset about something so small would give people the right impression of them. Any future comments by these folks should be taken with a whole BLOCK of salt!

September 15 2010 at 1:21 PM

If you do not like it, do not buy it. Boycot the sale of the book then. Who wrote that book. Really! Where does Mr. President have time to write books with more pressing things on his mind like the mosque, the economy, swimming in the golf, going on rallies. Come on peole. use your knagen a bit. Exerzise that grey matter. It is all hullabaloo. It was written for him not by him.

September 15 2010 at 1:17 PM

How has the book written before he was president when they didn't get the dog BO until he was president?

September 15 2010 at 1:14 PM

klewels they have a grandmother living in the White House taking care of them. Plus don't you think it is funny how all this warm and fuzzy fill good stuff is coming out right before the elections. Then you have editors and the like slamming the republicans prior to the elections also. I figured as much would happen with the media trying to turn votes.

September 15 2010 at 1:13 PM

I don't have any respect for ANY politician, democrat or republican. The word of their day is always changing to suit them at that time. But I do have a quick question that is sure to rile up Obama's supporters. I realize that he signed his book deal prior to becomming president, but doesn't he have just one or two more pressing issues to deal with than to write a book? Can't the book wait until his presidency is over, giving the time needed to address these outstanding and important issues?

September 15 2010 at 1:12 PM

I really don't care WHAT Obama does anymore. He's gone in 2012.

September 15 2010 at 1:06 PM

Obama supposedly has a job as President which he is not doing terribly well at-in fact he is doing a terrible job period and should not be writing books on our time-besides the fact ghost writers write all of his stuff anyway-he never learned to write very well as evidenced by the fact he won't release any of his school and college records thereby hiding how and why he got in,who paid for it,what grades he got,and what grants and considerations he received etc. ect.....he also cannot speak well without the aid and necessity of a teleprompter and rarely when he does it is easy to see his actual low level of educational poise...his constant change of verbage,accents and pronuciations to cater to a specific crowd are more evidence of the low level of authenticity of character he posesses.....Obama has 2 years left at best-he should concentrate on supporting and doing what the majority of legal citizens of the U.S. want him to do and not promoting his own socialist agenda to change America into his own distorted image of what he thinks it should be.

September 15 2010 at 1:03 PM

I don't agree with just about everything President Obama stands for or his policies but common, give the man a break, it's a kid's book for goodness sake. You want o be mad at him and question his policies and the fact that he says one thing then does another, i'm on board. Go after him about a kid's book to his daughters and you have crossed the line.

September 15 2010 at 1:01 PM

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