Unlike recent presidents, Obama has two young children, and the first couple is adamant that the girls be left alone. That means no approaching, cameras in tow, when Sasha and Malia are trying to get ice cream, or perhaps ride on the island’s famed carousel.That sounds reasonable. After all, it's not the kids' fault that their parents are politicians; why should they be punished for it?
Aside from wishing a good time for all, in fact, the president had one clear message yesterday for reporters, said Bill Burton, the deputy White House press secretary: “The first family would very much appreciate if you respect the privacy of the girls while they’re out here on vacation.’’
Now, however, it seems that the "first family" (do they really refer to themselves that way?) is somewhat less concerned about the daughters' privacy. In fact, Michelle Obama, the wife of the president, blabbed to the world about -- well, it appears as though Ms. Obama blabbed about her daughters' weight.
"We went to our pediatrician all the time," Obama said. "I thought my kids were perfect -- they are and always will be -- but he [the doctor] warned that he was concerned that something was getting off balance."All "first ladies" (what an irritating term!) champion some sort of "issue" (what an irritating tradition!). With the previous "first lady" it was literacy. The one before that was into more general childhood/adoption issues (she also tried to pass universal health care). The one before that was literacy. The one before that was "just say no." Etc.
"I didn't see the changes. And that's also part of the problem, or part of the challenge. It's often hard to see changes in your own kids when you're living with them day in and day out," she added. "But we often simply don't realize that those kids are our kids, and our kids could be in danger of becoming obese. We always think that only happens to someone else's kid -- and I was in that position."
Ms. Obama's issue is apparently childhood obesity.
On the one-year anniversary of Michelle's move to the White House, she has finally chosen her pet issue: childhood obesity. This news comes at the same time as a CDC report that says childhood obesity has plateaued. 17 percent of children are obese—that's about the same as it has been for the past five years. However, the number of extremely obese children is on the rise, and Michelle seeks to reduce these rates through changes to the school lunch program and continuing to maintain the White House vegetable garden.(My emphasis in the above because, really, how is a White House vegetable garden supposed to do anything about childhood obesity? Is the author of that post really so clueless, or are Ms. Obama's initiatives regarding her "pet issue" really so sparse?)
There is plenty to debate about the "obesity epidemic," but there are also a lot of kids who do not eat "healthy." I don't see anything particularly wrong with trying to educate people about what they can do to maintain better health. But it doesn't exactly have a "cutting edge" feel to it, does it?
First Lady taking on childhood obesity.
Okay, fine, I guess. But I wonder if any of Ms. Obama's childhood obesity initiatives will include any programs aimed at improving parenting skills? Because I have to say that if I had been the son of a "first lady" who went on television when I was a little kid (I have no idea how old the Obamas' daughters are) and implied to the world that I was almost, just by the narrowest of margins a little fatty boy, it would be enough to drive me to eat. A lot. Heck, it might even get me started on drugs, and make me stop reading, and caring about kids.
Which would be a slap in the face to all the "first ladies."
Michelle Obama pic source.