The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



Obama girls stay out of the picture

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters, Sasha and Malia, walk across Pennsylvania Avenue after attending services at St. John's Church in Washington, D.C., Oct. 11, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Some stories making the rounds this afternoon:

• White House photographer Pete Souza says there's a reason you don't see a lot of pictures of the Obama girls all by themselves -- and it's not because he's not taking any. "When we put out a picture of the girls, one of the parents has to be in it. That's one of our rules," he told Photo District News.

• In continuing fallout from the New York Times report on the White House's testosterone-heavy culture, Terry O'Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, told ABC News that the fact that Obama hadn't -- until Sunday -- invited women to play in various sports games is "troubling."

"Relationships get built in those more informal settings," O'Neill said, "and the relationships have a huge impact on the influence an individual has. We know what happens when we segregated whether it by race or whether it by gender -- you end up with 1st class citizens and you end up with 2nd class citizens."

President Obama, along with members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries, jockeys for a rebound during a basketball game on the White House court, Oct. 8, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

• Obama may have vastly surpassed President Bush when it comes to the number of fundraisers held in his first year, but CBS's Mark Knoller reports that there's one place 43 and 44 are neck-and-neck: the number of rounds of golf they've played.

"Today - Obama ties Pres. Bush in the number of rounds of golf played in office: 24. Took Bush 2 yrs & 10 months," Knoller tweeted Sunday of the "duffer in chief."

Posted at 3:57 PM ET on Oct 26, 2009  | Category:  Noted
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White House Aids;

Can't jump!

Or, pay their taxes...

Posted by: SAINT---The | October 27, 2009 6:05 PM

I am really puzzled why people think Obama is a socialist. It might pay to look up the definition of socialism and then come up with policies Obama has pushed for that you think merit that label.

Other labels being bandied about make even less sense. Nazi style fascism was an ultra-right wing party and is much closer in style and rhetoric to the far right in this country, than the moderate or liberal branches of our political spectrum.

The only really effective and persuasive arguments are those that are based in reality and fact. Emotional and irrational name calling is what children do. And people who act like children can be expected to be dismissed and ignored, just like children throwing a temper tantrum deserve no attention or consideration.

Posted by: reussere | October 27, 2009 12:11 AM

Oh, give the guy a break. Look at the important things. He has many good, strong women working for him.

Posted by: dramaticlookcat | October 26, 2009 11:52 PM

As a working woman, I am more impressed with the number of women WORKING in the Obama administration. I couldn't care less that he isn't playing sports with us.

Posted by: yeswecan3 | October 26, 2009 10:06 PM

So the eldest daughter cannot be photographed drunk on a picnic table, without her sniff sniff sniff in speeches problem mom, or the booze cabinet dad?
Bush was a little dictator in his 2nd term not listeneing to the people, but he did not shut down free press.

Posted by: dottydo | October 26, 2009 9:14 PM

Sasha and Malia are being raised very well by their mother, who despite being far more experienced than her husband (and his legal mentor), took the back seat to him so she could raise the young children on her own (he came home some weekends) in Chicago while Barack was in Springfield for 8 years and DC for a quick minute before announcing for president.

I don't think the basketball games are especially indicative of his sexist attitudes- most leisure sports tend to be played by men or women together but not as often mixed. If he likes to play ball with the boys- so be it- although maybe he should find noncabinet people to play with- they have to all suck at ball anyway...

If you really want to see how he allows if not promoting sexism- look at the campaigns he ran against women, including the AA women he unseated for the Dem primary in the state senate, his campaigns allowing of stereotyping and promoting mysogynist language toward Hillary and the way they promoted stereotyping Palin as a bimbo rather than just saying that her policies were flat out wrong- Palin was clearly more qualified and more achieved than W ever was, but the Dems never ran the unqualified campaign against Bush.

Posted by: NYClefty | October 26, 2009 8:34 PM

How many days of vacation has Obama taken so far?

Posted by: Heron | October 26, 2009 8:31 PM

Oh, brother. Why not take this further?

How many women on staff play sports & would like to be included? How many prefer other pursuits? How many would rather spend time with family/friends/self rather than extend their office hours hangin' out?

How about including a gender-tally of non-sports-related get-togethers among the president & staff? Does it only count if Michelle isn't there?

How about a story analyzing character & administration-relationships-styles of an executive who pursues solo sports (bike riding, brush clearing, gym workouts, jogging, etc.) versus one who prefers competition &/or team sports (basketball, golf, tennis, etc.)?

I don't think this story has gone far enough! Come on. Show some imagination.

Posted by: dadada | October 26, 2009 7:45 PM

"Obama is part of the progressive, liberal democrats,"

he's a corporate puppet pretending to be a progress liberal

Posted by: tru-indy | October 26, 2009 6:45 PM

""but unless I missed the press releases during the Bush administration, NO ONE was complaining about President Bush not biking or golfing with Secretaries Rice or Chou"


idiot.. Bush golfed, ran and mountain biked with the women in his admin.

Obama does not, sweetie

Posted by: tru-indy | October 26, 2009 6:44 PM

"but unless I missed the press releases during the Bush administration, NO ONE was complaining about President Bush not biking or golfing with Secretaries Rice or Chou"

Ah, that was the Bush administration, you know the one that promoted itself as the 'boy's club', elites, rich guy's haven, and unsocial snotty group. If I recall, Rice did go out on some of his sport outings in Waco. We all knew the Bush admin was just bad and well conservative (i.e. moral belief in religion and Men over women, etc...)

Obama is part of the progressive, liberal democrats, so inclusiveness is a moral belief to that group of people (like community service). You have to do it, and Obama is not doing so. So, it makes this story relevant, and has nothing to do with Bush.

Posted by: recharged95 | October 26, 2009 6:35 PM

"Terry O'Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, told ABC News that the fact that Obama hadn't -- until Sunday -- invited women to play in various sports games is "troubling.""

This is ludicrous. I agree that women often don't get the chance to build those informal relationships with the oftentimes male boss, but unless I missed the press releases during the Bush administration, NO ONE was complaining about President Bush not biking or golfing with Secretaries Rice or Chou (from press accounts, Secretary Rice probably would have won). In fact, I can't remember anyone talking about holding the president to co-ed extra-curriculars. Perhaps President Obama should get credit for being the first president ever to play golf with a woman.

This is also a distraction because the woman in Obama's golf outing is surely in one of the highest tax brackets, that is, one of the highest paid women in the country. The broader point here is that they were focused on issues like equal pay during Bush because they knew he was against their agenda. With this president, NOW assumes they can indulge themselves in a distraction. They should get back to work fighting for not just women at the top who already get paid more than their less educated fellow citizens (women and men) and start refocusing on getting low-income women better access to education, resources and equal pay at the bottom where it matters even more.

Posted by: plathman | October 26, 2009 6:09 PM

are they getting the swine flu shot or are they one of the few who already got it because of who their father is

Posted by: robertbeaver | October 26, 2009 4:59 PM

I think the Obama girls are being raised VERY well, they're certainly not like their predecessors, the bush babies, whose favorite "game" was "dodge the Secret Service person". They are being raised with manners and grace, and it shows. Dumbya should have taken lessons on child raising from either his predecessor or his successor.

Posted by: Alex511 | October 26, 2009 4:54 PM

Why don't you guys just say heil Obama already. Right, everybody's kids are within limits, but not Obama's. Play some more golf, ruin our country, turn us socialist, and you dem/libs are OK with this? You guys are disgusting.

Posted by: kpistol | October 26, 2009 4:54 PM


You care more than anyone. You posted a comment 10 minutes after the article appeared.

Posted by: TheDiplomat | October 26, 2009 4:27 PM

Who cares?

Posted by: JRM2 | October 26, 2009 4:10 PM

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