It’s rare, but I agree with Barack Obama: Leave his girls alone.
The First Family is on vacation, and despite the center of the media universe descending in years past upon the “Western White House”–George W. Bush’s ranch at Crawford, Texas–I do hope that the media does what it has refused to do for Bush and other presidents before, and leave Obama and his family alone during his vacation.
Especially the girls. I know that the press wasn’t particularly friendly with regard to Jenna and Barbara Bush, but that’s no reason to repeat it with Sasha and Malia Obama. It bothered me then, the way the Bush twins were followed around, and now as a father myself it certainly would bother me with regard to the two girls in the White House. I may not like their father’s policies, but the girls deserve the most normal childhood possible under the circumstances.
Some people might look at this–especially the threat that any reporter telegraphing the family’s movement would be “thrown out of the pool”–as another effort by this administration to control the media. I don’t. They’re not looking to hide from view meetings with various leaders. As long as the White House promises not to do just that, not to mention refusing to “unfortunately leak” any Putinesque photographs showing the president doing manly stuff, I’m fine with an overall moratorium. (If the media wants to analyze the price tag of the accommodations during this recession, of course, that’s okay — they’d just be doing their job.)
What will be interesting to see is whether the pandering press will comply. Certainly, had Obama’s predecessor issued the same request, conduct would likely not have changed. In this case, however, I’d be surprised if the press doesn’t re-affix the lens caps and help the president with his bags.
It’s tempting, but I sincerely hope the press agrees to let them be. Maybe the president will eat some bad clams and reemerge from the bathroom a capitalist.