Posted by: kzahka | August 4, 2009

The Children of Politicians–Is it Necessary to Get Family Involved?

I came across this article today on Politico. It discusses new advertisements that target the Obama girls in an effort to receive more healthy lunches for schools. While I understand the concern for how this may affect Sasha and Malia, at least it is for a good cause. The girl featured in the advertisement actually sent a letter to the two, urging them to sign the petition for healthier lunches. What I do find interesting, is that this article talks a great deal about the possible psychological harm this could have on Sasha and Malia. Where was this concern when Sarah Palin’s children were being exploited? At least in this instance, the goal is a positive one, rather than to produce further scandal. Some argue that Sarah Palin asked for her family to be in the spotlight, but I truly wonder if she had a choice. The article says how Obama has made it clear that his children are off limits, and the media seems to respect that for the most part, but why does this not apply to all children?



  1. This addresses two important and interesting issues–

    The debate/reaction about the President’s kids is not a new one–the same issue came up with Chelsea Clinton when Bill was president. Lucky for Sasha and Malia, they’re still adorable. Chelsea had the misfortune of going through an awkward puberty (redundant phrase?), but any joke made at her expense was seen as a cheap shot and met with stony silence. When Hillary was campaigning, Chelsea (10 years older, hip and sporting much better hair) was at the forefront, stumping for her mom on college campuses around the country.

    I think candidates’ and politicians’ kids are stuck filling whatever role their parents need them to in a given political climate. The McCain campaign must have thought Palin’s family (kid with Downs Syndrome, pregnant teenager, oil company husband) would appeal to the most demographics. Using the president’s children to criticize a failing government program doesn’t suit Obama.

    Unfortunately, a superficial debate about the media’s treatment of the First Offspring overshadows the issue at heart: a large portion of American children are still under- or malnourished. (The Globe had a story yesterday about kids not having access to government-funded lunches during the summer.

    Who’s pulling the curtain closed this time?

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