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School Visit for the Obamas


President Obama and Michelle Obama at Sidwell Friends School's Bethesda campus, where their daughter Sasha, 7, is enrolled. (Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)

After canceled classes caused President Obama to chide us locals as complete weather wimps, he and his wife braved the elements this morning to attend a second-grade class presentation at Sidwell Friends School's lower-school campus in Bethesda, which their 7-year-daughter Sasha attends. Perhaps to display his Chicago-tempered, steely resistance to the cold, the president wore no overcoat -- just a dark suit. (Michelle Obama wore a purple overcoat and lavender scarf.)

The First Lady's office released no info about the reason for the visit. Was Sasha making a presentation, or was another child? "The girls had a class presentation at school," Katie McCormick Lelyveld, Mrs. Obama's spokesman, told our colleague Richard Leiby. She also helpfully confirmed that "Both adults went."

But we've learned that Sasha and her fellow pupils are studying Native American history and culture. "Each child did research on an American Indian topic and then presented their work to other students and parents," school spokesman Ellis Turner told Leiby. A breakfast featuring native foods was served.

Did the Obama parents have to squeeze into those tiny chairs? No, said Turner -- adult-size chairs were set up for this visit.

The First Adults spent a little more than an hour at the Bethesda campus, arriving at 8:15 a.m.

Older daughter Malia, 10, is a fifth-grader at Sidwell's middle school in the District. On Wednesday morning Obama went off script from the important business of the day and poked fun at local officials for canceling school because of icy conditions, saying "My 7-year-old pointed out that you'd go outside for recess. You wouldn't even stay indoors. So, I don't know. We're going to have to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town." Later at the Pentagon he kept it up: "Aren't you a little surprised that they canceled school for my kids?"

It may take a while -- but eventually he'll learn how much we love our snow days.

By The Reliable Source  |  January 29, 2009; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  First Family  
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Comments

Nice article. Wish I could send my kids to Sidwell:
Lower School $28,442
Middle and Upper Schools $29,442.

Let's keep the fluff stories coming. I am still trying to figure out what this rich family has in common with the average taxpayer in America.

Posted by: nosurprise2me | January 29, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

nosurprise2me: This is the Reliable Source, not the business section. If you want your kids to go to Sidwell, apply for a scholarship, assuming they're smart enough to be accepted.

Posted by: PublicHealth1 | January 29, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please! This president did not grow up a child of privilege nor did his wife. They made themselves what they are- isn't that what America is about?

Posted by: silverspring25 | January 29, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The Obamas are NOT the First Adults. They ARE the First Family, First Parents. They are actually just parents, trying to be engaged, involved, etc. Just too bad they could not have picked a public school for their daughters.

Posted by: nina-nyc | January 29, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Lower School $28,442
Middle and Upper Schools $29,442.

The family also travels with a 16 car, 20 motorcyle weapons proof convoy and lives in a home that requires an FBI background check for entry. Perhaps a school that has specialized for decades in how to handle and protect the children of Presidents is a smart choice considering it probably costs taxpayers $60,000 just to safely transport the President for a visit to his kids' school for a parent-student event.

Posted by: leighkess | January 29, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe he even remotly likes cold weather being from Hawaii. I have lived in cold weather climates my entire life and jump at every opportunity to go to Hawaii. Maybe I'm a "Great Weather Groupie" or something? Oh well! Call me Kimo and stick a fork in me.

Posted by: cadams3@hotmail.com | January 29, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the same assignment my child did in second grade in 1994...

Posted by: merrill1 | January 29, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

why didn't the photographer show the 30 car presidential motorcade with 50 police cars escorting them as they drove up in the sidwell elementary driveway??? why don't they show the 40 secret service body guards around the president and all the secret service with machine guns under their trench coats and 2 way radios in their ears at every vantage point up and down the hallways at the school for 7 year olds... all they show is tough obama and his wife walking up to the school.. gee.. maybe they expect us to believe they rode the city bus to the school...

obama is the elite.. his children are teh elite.. and they go to a school catering to the elite of the elite...

and then obama taxes us little people another 819 BILLION dollars to bail out corporate america.

our children (not his) will be paying on these bailouts for DECADES...

Posted by: DriveByPoster | January 29, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I think that sending the girls to this school was more than a smart idea. I mean come on, did anyone say that about George Bush children or other prvious children residing in the White House? The only President that I who's child attended a D.C. Public School was Jimmy Carter. When Amy Carte went to Public School. The Obama's are where they are because of hard work and dedication. Nothing was handed to them and I beleive that they should send their children to thebest of school's. My children atten a catholic school in the city and I would not have it any other way. If I could afford to send them elsewhere and they had the opportunity I would jump at it. Why don't folk just leave this family alone and let them be them with their family. Every move that this family makes is a big "to do". I am sure that they want to be left alone sometimes.

Posted by: sherrilynbatie2 | January 29, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Who cares where they send their children? All I want are two good parents and a guy who does the job he was elected to do.

Posted by: searay28 | January 29, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Why must we keep harping on how much it cost President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama paid for their children's education? Just like one of the other comments mentioned that the President's except for Carter has always sent their children to private schools. And one other thing, I think that we should show some respect when we write about the First Family. Use the proper etiquette, not call them by their first or last names as if we know them personally. But use titles such as President Obama and Frist Lady Michelle. You did this when President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush were in the White House.

Posted by: speed_bump2002 | January 29, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I like her coat.

Posted by: GoddessofFamine | January 29, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

DrivebyPoster...why don't you get your facts straight...Former Pres Bush and his cronies advocated the $700 TARP program, half of which appears to have been wasted. The simulus program advanced by Pres Obama is designed to help the entire economy---you and I included.

Ignorance must be bliss, then you don't have to accept responsibility for anything.

Posted by: mykaladrian | January 29, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Let me make sure I have this correct. You work hard all your life, earn you way thru school, on the job and into the WH, and you are supposed to send you kids to the public school ranked close to the bottom in the country.

'nosurprise2me, leighkess' you are true idiots. Where were you when, Bush, Clinton, and many others did the same? And what the hell is wrong with wanting the best for your kids?

I live in PG, my kids attend private school in MC, hell will freeze over before I send my kids to DC or PG public school.

Posted by: xxx1 | January 29, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

speed_bump2002, I will be happy to treat the Obamas with the same respect for the office that Democrats treated President Bush for the past eight years.

Posted by: Emma3 | January 29, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Emma3, Democrats have tremendous respect for the office of President. We just had no respect for the moron who happened to occupy that office for the past two years. Frankly, the fact that you're still standing up for him says VOLUMES about you: obviously no Sidwell Friends education in YOUR past.

Posted by: 7900rmc | January 29, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

edit: past EIGHT years. If only it had just been two years!

Posted by: 7900rmc | January 29, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh people, please! Perhaps if people were not threatening to kill President Obama (such as the loon in Colorado, as well as those in Mississippi and Nebraska), he and Mrs. Obama could ride in a plain car and send their daughters to "normal" schools. As such, the President and his family must be protected from the folks who mean him ill.

Posted by: meldupree | January 29, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

It is ASTOUNDING to think how much good Obama could have done by sending his daughters to public school. Would the children of the president get a bad education in he public school??? Of course not! What a wasted opportunity!!! I am embarrassed and ashamed for him.

Posted by: bkcarolina | January 29, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I like her coat too, and her scarf. She looks so stylish and smart.

Posted by: ACfromChicago | January 29, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

7900rmc, I would say that your willingness to stoop to insults speaks volumes about YOU, along with your poor grammar.

Posted by: Emma3 | January 29, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Why does the WAPO continue to bombard us with stories of little Sashawan and Maliawan. I assume Michelle Shaniqua Obama will continue her campaign of keeping her little ghettoettes on the front page.

Posted by: Diannne721 | January 29, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

"I am still trying to figure out what this rich family has in common with the average taxpayer in America."
Give me a break..this family worked hard to get to where they are now. The Obama family is still the average American family...just with a little more well deserved perks.

Posted by: myop | January 29, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

One of the many issues in terms of our response to snow and ice is that obviously any winter weather leaves our region with WAY too many crabby folks at home by their computers with too little to do but obsess about a minor news item.

If it weren't so icy out there, I'd say, wrap up in a coat and scarf and go get some fresh air!

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | January 29, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

EDNA3D or, whatever her name is, is a complete moron. We stood 8 years of the "insult" that Geroge Bush was to the American people and the world community so she and ilk better get used to it. The Bush record isn't going anywhere anytime soon so they can squirm like worms on the end of a hook for the forseeable future and no about of revisionist babble will change that. Anyone who voted for or supported that clown should be deeply ashamed and pay back is due.

The Obamas symbolize all that is right just as the Bushes have and and will more so come to symbolize all that is wrong.
For a start it is refreshing not to read of the escapades of the Presidents daughters at elitist whore bars in Georgetown. Also, it is refreshing to have a President who attends elementary school activities and is not focused on being the main attraction at them even as the country is being attacked. Go read My Pet Goat Edna3D, you and Shrub will have something to talk about.

Posted by: JEGrim | January 29, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Those of you advising the Obamas to send their children to DC public schools are naive to the highest degree. It isn't a commentary on DC schools that the kids attend private school. It is rather a simple fact of necessity given that they are the daughters of the leader of the free world. I don't think it will affect Obama's efforts to better the urban public education system in America.

Posted by: contradiction | January 29, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

What is a ghettoette? Is this yet another example of racial hatred? Or ignorance? Yes we have free speech in this country-- but as I tell my children-- it doesn't mean we have the right to speak ignorantly and show our prejudices...with so much good in the world why be mean?

Posted by: bookwomanhere | January 29, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

With a name like DriveByPoster, you must be as stupid as the name implies.

Posted by: mryfrtsn | January 29, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Emma3, don't type anything, just sit there and read the blog so we won't know how stupid you are.

Posted by: mryfrtsn | January 29, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

You'd have to be one stupid azz to send your kids to DC public schools if you could send them to Sidwell.

Posted by: tootincommon | January 29, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

In a country where we wave the concept of choice around, I find it interesting that so many would take issue with the Obamas' choice to send their daughters to private school--a choice many people in this area exercise each and every day. Remember, Sasha & Malia attended private school in Chicago before coming to DC.
I do not remember people pressuring the Bushes to send their daughters to the University of the District of Columbia--maybe I missed it. But it looked like Barbara & Jenna exercised their choice to attend the schools they wanted to.
And for those disrespectful people who choose to be disrespectful & ignorant in this forum, know that I respect your choice to do so. I just choose to believe that you are suffering from an inferiority complex.
Hmmm, choice...see a theme here?

Posted by: JustUs5 | January 29, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

The issue of the Obama daughters attending private school has to do with logistics, the safety of the girls and the ease with which they can be provided Secret Service protection. The school they are attending is used to having well-known students and is therefore better able to accommodate the Secret Service. No the Obamas aren't like you and I, they are the President and First Lady of this country, who are among a large group of parents over 1,000 according to their enrollment statistics, who can afford to send their kids to a private school. As an other person pointed out, there are scholarships available to students who are able to meet their standards. As far as all of their entourage, presidents and their families have been provided with Secret Service protection for decades, and it is the Secret Service that decides how much protection to provide. About a week ago there was a big to-do about the President's Blackberry, and the possibility that he would not be able to use it, that was a concern of the Secret Service, they are the ones who make decisions about the amount of protection that is needed, and which they provide to the First Family. Michelle Obama bought her gloves at J. Crew, well I read before the innaguration that there aren't going to be anymore mall shopping. Too good for her now, NO, the Secret Service, doesn't want the headache of trying to protect her in a huge place like a shopping mall. Why doesn't Diannne 721 keep her racist comments to herself, she talks as if all the presidents' kids, Nixon, Reagan, Bush et. al. were never in the news, and where does she get the idea that the American taxpayers are footing the bill for their education, from my understanding, all presidential families have to pay for their own personal things, clothing (except those used for State occasions) food, etc. Unless you know that as a fact, keep your mouth shut. By the way, the Clintons had kept Chelsea out of the news as much as possible, they only made a show of displaying her, because so many idiots were convinced they had no kids. If they were kept from the media, people like Diannne 721 would fabricate some nonsense about them being too good to be seen in public. Sheesh, get a life!!

Posted by: RGarber1968Gmailcom | January 30, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, here are the bigots out in force today, responding to any article they can find about the Obama family. Dianne721 calls the children ghettoettes. How would she like her children referred to (in kind) by the Obamas - who are class.

Posted by: ramsheadtavern | January 30, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I just wish everyoe would respect who is elected as president. Don't call Bush a fool. It's disrespectful. I don't necesarily like President Obama and i didn't vote for him but I'm not saying that he is an idiot. You people need to act mature and respect all presidents and formere presidents of our country. Sure, some of them made some deciesions you didn's like. DEAL WITH IT! It's over. You can't do anything about it now. Grow up! I'm probably younger than half of you and from what I've been reading, I'm acting more mature.

Posted by: nadoswimmer | January 31, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Great article and thanks for sharing. How's grandma doing?

Posted by: willette_ash | January 31, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Diane 721, you are the chlorine in our gene pool.

Posted by: pam4 | February 3, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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