President Obama’s Dating Advice

The First Daughters are approaching dating age and the First Papa has some thoughts on the matter.

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The First Daughters are approaching dating age and the First Papa has some thoughts on the matter.

President Barack Obama says he’s not worried about his daughters starting to date. After all, he’s got some help keeping an eye on them.

Malia, age 15, and Sasha, age 12, are “very sensible,” Obama told comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey in a television interview that aired on Friday.

“And the second thing is, I’ve got men with guns following them around all the time,” Obama quipped, referring to the Secret Service detail that is a constant presence around his family.

“This is the main reason I ran for re-election,” he joked in the light-hearted interview taped at the White House. “You know I’m going to have them covered for most of high school.”

More seriously:

Obama said he worries about “getting in the way of the girls just having a normal life” and said he has taught them to make good decisions about relationships.

“What I’ve told them before is, as long as that young man is showing you respect, and is kind to you, then I’m not going to be hovering over every second,” he said.

“I think it’s intimidating enough to be asking out the daughter of the president without me adding to that intimidation factor,” he said.

That’s both wise and practical; not only do the girls need to develop judgment while there’s still some parental guidance available on a daily basis but being overprotective would most likely backfire by closing the lines of communication.

Because the president has done such an admirable job of keeping his daughters out of the spotlight, it’s hard to think of Malia dating. One presumes Sasha won’t start until dad’s out of office.

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FILED UNDER: Parenting, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. bill says:

    see, “men with guns” are good after all- thx James!

  2. “And the second thing is, I’ve got men with guns following them around all the time,” Obama quipped, referring to the Secret Service detail that is a constant presence around his family.

    I recall Jack Ryan thinking something very similar in one of the Clancy books, perhaps The Bear and the Dragon.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Men with guns… I’m not sure that will be enough with those two beauties. Bazookas and flame throwers might be more appropriate.

    Just think James, your turn is coming.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Hehehee… Very good Doug. Thanx.

  5. CSK says:

    The advice is good. The girls are pretty. Unfortunately for them, they’re also default celebrities, which means a lot of jerks with ulterior motives will want to get close to them. That’s a problem for the children of rich and/or famous people. But they’ll probably develop the kind of radar necessary to detect exploiters.

  6. BIll says:

    @Timothy Watson: If I recall correctly, Sally Ryan complained to her father about trying to go on a date with a rifle squad accompanying them.

  7. Tillman says:

    I think 1600 Penn stole that joke from Obama. At least I recall a promo for the show having Bill Pullman threaten a dude dating his daughter by saying, “I have robots that can rain death from the skies.”

  8. Tyrell says:

    “If you like your boyfriend you can keep him. Period.”

  9. michael reynolds says:

    I have the opposite problem: my daughter’s boyfriend is such a lovely boy he’s probably too good for our family.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds: You mean he’s an accomplished liar? (All men are scum, AMAS for short)

  11. al-Ameda says:

    I know some may find this to be quaint, but … I advised my daughters to be sure that he’s intelligent and that he is not controlling the relationship. I survived, they survived.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al-Ameda: Did their prospective boyfriends?

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    @al-Ameda: Did their prospective boyfriends?

    I think so, I hope so. They seemed to be good guys, seemed to be okay.
    It’s interesting – the parents of guys don’t appear to stress over the dating, the parents of girls … it’s 180 degrees the opposite. I’m glad the girls are not girls anymore, they’re out of college and on the move.

  14. Kari Q says:

    I don’t recall my father giving me any advice on dating, but he gave me something much more important: he demonstrated how a man should behave by treating my mother well. Anyone who treated me differently than I saw him treat my mother was of no interest to me.

    So fellows, if you want your daughter to choose a good partner, the most important thing you can do is to treat your wife the way you want her future husband to treat her.