While President Obama and First Lady Michelle have famously said they prefer to keep their girls out of the public eye as much as possible–in an effort to give them as much normalcy as they can–the girls are now appearing in some campaign ads, and that has eyebrows raising all across the country.
But the ads aren’t the first instance of Obama talking about his own family when it comes to political issues. He spoke about the impact his children had on him when it came time to make a decision about gay marriage, and publicly supporting it.
“Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective,” he said.
While some think the president is simply using the children to gain favor–and votes–some think he just wants to play up the fact that he is a family man and allow his girls to help his image as such.
“Children have a kind of humanizing impact, and that’s really what Obama needs,” Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, said. “Voters feel like things haven’t changed as much as they wanted. The economy still is not where they wanted it to be. He needs people to vote more on whether they like him or not, regardless of his record of accomplishment.”
Sasha and Malia are the youngest children to reside in the White House since Jimmy Carter’s daughter, Amy, lived there in the ’70s; that could account for some of their popularity, as well. People are eager to see that the First Family is just like theirs, that the president and his wife deal with everyday issues while raising their children, just like we do. It may make a difference when voting time comes around, since ads created by Obama’s opponents will likely not have the same appeal.