Barack Obama says he cherished rare ‘normal dad’ time with daughters during presidency

The family often visited museums after hours, says Obama, or they would get advanced copies of new movies.

Loading the player...

In his new memoir, A Promised Land, former President Barack Obama said that rare “normal dad” time with his daughters was invaluable during his presidency. 

“Every parent savors such moments, I suppose, when the world slows down, your strivings get pushed to the back of your mind, and all that matters is that you are present, fully, to witness the miracle of your child growing up,” Obama writes. “Given all the time I’d missed with the girls over years of campaigning and legislative sessions, I cherished the normal ‘dad stuff’ that much more.”

In this 2015 photo, President Barack Obama buys ice cream for his daughters Malia (left) and Sasha at Pleasant Pops during Small Business Saturday in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

Obama contends that some of the benefits of the presidency could be shared with First Daughters Malia and Sasha. He writes that the family often visited museums after hours or would get advanced copies of new movies they would screen at the White House. 

In his book, Obama shares memories of when Sasha played basketball in fourth grade. 

Read More: Symone Sanders in the running to be Biden’s WH press secretary: report

An avid basketball player himself, the then-president said he would get restless just watching in the stands and started helping Coach Reggie Love, a personal Obama aide. 

“After observing an adorable but chaotic first couple of games, Reggie and I took it upon ourselves to draw up some plays and volunteered to conduct a few informal Sunday afternoon practice sessions with the team,” Obama writes in an excerpt published this week by The Sunday Times in the U.K.

Read More: Rep. Cedric Richmond reportedly expected to join Biden administration

Sasha’s team, which also featured Joe Biden’s granddaughter, Maisy, won their championship game. Obama noted that he and the coach “celebrated like it was the NCAA finals.” 

Other parents, however, weren’t so happy. Some complained because their children didn’t have a sitting president coaching them. 

Read More: Gov. Cuomo says ‘we spend too much time’ trying to interpret Trump

“They must think being coached by you is something they can put on their Harvard application,” Love teased after he and Obama gave in to pressure and relinquished their duties coaching the team.

In addition to his short-lived coaching duties, Obama also writes that playing basketball or a game of pool with his small group of friends were other ways that he shook off the stress of the presidency. 

A Promised Land was officially released today. 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download today!

Loading the player...