Mr. President, Your Family Is Not More Important Than Mine
Recently, in an appearance on the morning chat show on CNN, Jessica Yellin revealed that President Obama has not done more outreach to Republicans because he wants to spend more time at home as a family. I give him a great deal of credit for wanting to be a hands-on dad. That is a wonderful thing. I mean that sincerely. He brought those two girls into the world and he is responsible for them. They deserve to have a childhood.
Photo Credit: © Pete Souza/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com
I was given more than a little grief when I stuck up for Malia's trip to Mexico last year. Malia and Sasha go to a private school that is very involved in social justice. Once you reach middle school, there is a week called minimester -- the week before spring break, no classroom work is done. You spend the week doing community service. Every year the school does some of that community service overseas. Malia went on the overseas trip to Mexico. Many on the right went crazy, calling it a waste of taxpayer money. My opinion all along was that she had the right to her childhood without the media glare and people who have never met her or care about her making decisions about her life.
I also took a great deal of crap for saying that I didn't think that Sarah Palin should have run for president this year. I feel that Trig and Piper are too young to be in that type of fishbowl. I firmly believe this. People who have very young children should not be in the White House. Simple things, such as trick-or-treating become next to impossible with the amount of security that is involved. I said this about President Obama four years ago. His daughters are too young.
I am sorry, Mr. President. If being a hands-on dad was the priority for you at this point in your life, you should not have run for president. We didn't come to you. You worked hard at convincing people you should be the one to get that job. You announced your run for president in February '07, a full 21 months before the election. Your youngest child Sasha was only five years old at the time. You didn't think then that you needed to be home evenings and weekends?
Again, I applaud the fact that you want to be there for your children in a way your own father was not for you. Wonderful. But, Mr. President, what about our children? We have had high unemployment since you have taken office. People have lost their homes. People are working two part-time jobs to make ends meet, because they can't find a full-time position. Poverty is rising around the country. People on some form of government entitlement is at an all-time high.
The job of president is a 24/7/365 position. You are always on call. Everything your family does is put under a microscope. Your privacy is limited, as your schedule is reported daily. We have the right, Mr. President, to someone who is going to put all of his energies into the job. I am sorry, but the job of president doesn't leave much time for a private life. If you wanted a private life, you should have chosen another position.
While it is unfair, I don't care about your family's needs. I care about my own. Your promise to the people during your campaign was that you were going to change the acrimony that goes on in Washington. You were going change the tone, do things differently, Hope & Change. You never mentioned during that time that you wouldn't be going out and doing what needed to be done because you would rather spend time playing video games, or whatever you do during your family hours.
I stand by my past comments on people with young children not running for president. It isn't fair to the children, and it certainly isn't fair to me. You have spent the last four years saying that the Republicans wouldn't work with you; that they have been nothing but obstructionists. Well, Mr. President, it takes two to tango. It is such a shame that your dance card was full.
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By Jeff Hess