Presidents and Young Children
When Hillary Clinton appeared on Nightline this week, Cynthia McFadden asked her (from the transcript, ABC News, May 1, 2008, Clinton on the Rise, available on Lexis.com):
Would you be running for president if Chelsea were 10?
Hillary: No. Not a chance. I just couldn't have done it. I could never have run for office if I had young children. I just couldn't have done it.
Obama often mentions how he misses his children while campaigning. A few times he's flown home for a night just to be able to see them off to school in the morning. [More...]
It's obvious that Obama has been an involved, hands-on parent in the daily raising of his daughers, at least until he became a U.S. Senator when he stayed in D.C. during the week and commuted home on weekends.
How will his time with his daughters be affected if he's President? If Hillary had a young child and was running for President, there'd be scores of articles addressing this. Not that many decades ago, most men weren't as involved in the day-to-day parenting of their kids. They were the principal breadwinners and not expected to be as involved as a mother.
Today, many men are as involved. Yet, no one mentions this with respect to Obama. If he's President, he'll be giving up a lot of family time. Is he still going to go to dance recitals, PTA meetings and soccer games? How often will he be able to help them with their homework? Will he have time to play charades and the other games they enjoy now?
As a husband Barack is not afraid to cook for his family. When he does, Michelle boasts that he makes a 'mean' chili, one of his favourite foods. Barack attests to picking up groceries even on the campaign trail in Iowa.
According to US Weekly, Barack and Michelle Obama have never missed a parent-teacher conference. Michelle posits that "Our future is making sure Barack can get to our daughters' ballet recitals and balancing the demands of this current set of responsibilities with our need to build a strong family." (Ebony, March 2006)
I'm curious. Does anyone have feelings about the time Obama's daughters will lose with their father if he's President or is this a non-issue?
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