Malia and Sasha Obama will be allowed to date while Barack Obama is President of the United States, with a special area in the White House to be reserved for sleepovers with school friends.
The two girls, who will be 15 and 18 by the time Obama’s second term ends, have spent most of their school years living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In an interview on election day, Mr. Obama was quizzed by radio host Ryan Seacrest over whether Malia and Sasha would be permitted to date during his second term. The president replied:
“I think that any young man who has the guts to get through Secret Service deserves a hearing. All [Malia and Sasha] want to do is be treated like anybody else. I embarrass them all the time. Michelle is very good about making sure that we’re creating a space for them where they can have sleepovers. They can go to the mall. They can go to the movies. They’re going to homecomings at their school.”
When Obama steps down as president in 2016, 14-year-old Malia will be attending proms and filling out university applications, while 11-year-old Sasha will be approaching the first major exams of her life.
Both Barack and Michelle Obama have repeatedly emphasized the importance of letting Malia and Sasha lead lives that are as normal as possible. The bad news for the girls? In dad’s eyes, a “normal” life doesn’t extend to having their own Facebook accounts.
Until now, publicity around Malia and Sasha Obama has been kept to a bare minimum. There have been shots of their first day at school in Washington, of them watching the Super Bowl with their parents, and also an occasion when the president coached Sasha’s basketball team:
The Obama daughters were on stage in Chicago as their father celebrated his re-election early Wednesday morning. Just as he did in 2008, Obama referenced Malia and Sasha in his victory speech. Addressing a crowd of joyous supporters, the president spoke of his pride in his daughters, but added they wouldn’t be getting a second dog to join Bo, the family dog who arrived when Obama was first elected:
“Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to be two strong, smart, beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say, for now, one dog’s probably enough.”
You can hear President Obama’s full interview with Ryan Seacrest below. Malia and Sasha Obama are discussed from the 5:14 mark: