Forget foreign policy. What everybody really wants to know after last night's presidential debate (and the two before that) is why Sasha and Malia Obama weren't in attendance. After all, Mitt Romney has been swarmed by a football team's worth of family members after each debate -- so why wouldn't Obama want his daughters by his side to smile and look pretty and remind America that the President is a true family man?
Well, maybe because Barack Obama wants his daughters to do their homework and get a full night's sleep. Maybe Barack and Michelle Obama both want their kids to be normal kids, not walking campaign slogans. Maybe that makes them good parents.
The fact that Obama doesn't want to disrupt his daughters' lives for his own sake shows that he values and respects his children as individuals. Like Sasha Obama, my daughter is 11 years old. So I know how incredibly important things like social commitments and academic responsibilities become once girls hit the tween/teen years. This is identity-forming stuff, the kind of thing parents need to take seriously.
Then there's the issue of safety: Just last week the girls' school was evacuated over concerns related to a "suspicious package." The package turned out to be some kid's harmless backpack, but that doesn't change the fact that Sasha and Malia are, essentially, easy targets. (Think about what happened to 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai.)
And even if Sasha and Malia Obama begged to go along to the debates, I'm sure they'll thank Barack and Michelle someday -- they weren't allowed to attend, but they were allowed to be kids.
Do you think Sasha & Malia Obama were better off at home than at the debates?
Image via USDAgov/Flickr