On the Washington Post’s website, there’s an ad headlining its pages:
The ad reads:
Obama-Biden. Help the Obamas stand up for working Americans. Join our campaign. Paid for by Obama for America.
We know that Michelle Obama is meddling in government affairs to try to force Americans to eat as she dictates and subject school children to weight monitoring and ridicule. But what we did not know is that Malia and Sasha are now actively working in our government.
This ad goes beyond the typical family shots of playing football or walking on a beach or through the woods together. You know, the silent little snapshots meant to say “Look at what a wonderful family man this candidate is. Look at how lovely his non-scary, humanizing family is.”
I don’t have a problem with candidates’ families participating in their campaigns, especially if the kids are now adults. Some adult children of candidates go on the campaign trail to stump for their parent. That somewhat opens them up to public scrutiny, but unless they are setting policy and injecting themselves into government, they deserve a modest zone of privacy.
Even with the little ones, having them cutely mug for the camera or perform for the audience is no big deal—as long as it is infrequently done. Otherwise, depending upon on them to soften up the candidate’s image is exploitative to them, and annoying to us. The candidate becomes like the coworker that won’t put the pictures of her grandkids away.
But this Obama ad is treading new ground, injecting his minor children into the political arena. Now the whole family is being sold as a package: The Obamas. We don’t get one. We get all of them.
- Think Barack Obama has destroyed the American economy? No fear. The Obamas are much more benign!
- Need new ideas for government child-rearing? Let Sasha and Malia craft a policy for you!
- Your mean old boss wants to open a non-union factory? The Obamas children will lay down in front of scab trucks for you!
Ugh. I find this ad distasteful. I don’t want my President’s tweens anywhere near my public policy.
Plus, if the Obamas are gonna exploit their kids in such a cheap and tawdry way, why did they have to be so cheap about it? Mr. Millionaire-Wanting-To-Pay-More-Taxes can’t afford a new family portrait? He has to crop their White House Christmas portrait photo?
By the way, who paid for that Christmas card? Was that a government expense or a campaign one? Because if it were paid by the White House, this ad is also a campaign violation for misappropriating government property, and improper use of White House resources for a political campaign.
The UK’s Daily Mail says:
This year’s portrait was shot by the official White House photographer Pete Souza, and perhaps it was his level of comfort with the family that helped create the relaxed vibe.
Seems the Obama campaign owes the taxpayers some money…and an apology to Malia and Sasha for such an off-putting use of their images.