Monday, July 04, 2011

Born On The Fourth Of July: Malia Obama Celebrates Her 13th Birthday Today

Father in Chief says he is not expecting "complete mayhem" for teenage years...
President Obama and First Lady Obama become the parents of a teenager today, as daughter Malia turns 13. The First Family returned to Washington on Sunday after spending Malia's birthday weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, as they did when daughter Sasha turned ten on June 10th (the celebration also included a birthday party at Georgetown Cupcake). The President has noted that when Malia was younger, he used to tell her that Independence Day fireworks were for her. The First Family will watch fireworks this evening from the South Lawn, joined by about 1,200 military service members and their families during the annual White House Independence Day barbecue. Rock band Train and singer/songwriter Amos Lee will perform during a USO Salute to the Military Concert. (Top: Malia and Dad during a Father's Day ice cream run to Georgetown; inset is Malia at the 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll)

The President celebrates his fiftieth birthday two months from today, on August 4th; Mrs. Obama marked her 47th birthday on January 17th. Malia just returned from a weeklong trip to Africa with her mother, where she and her sister were much in the spotlight. The trip included a meeting with Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa and anti-apartheid icon (above).

Perhaps being the newly minted parent of a teenager is much on President Obama's mind: Last week, during his first news conference since March, the President announced that Malia was already 13.

"Malia And Sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time. Malia's 13, Sasha's 10," President Obama said, as he gave a tongue lashing to lawmakers who are waiting until the eleventh hour to come to an agreement on the Federal budget.

Fatherly praise...and armed protection...
In a Father's Day interview with Good Morning America, President Obama praised both his daughters.

"Malia and Sasha, for whatever reasons – and I think Michelle gets the lion's share of the credit – are right now just wonderful kids. They're smart, they're funny. But most importantly, they're kind, they're respectful, they're responsible, they're well-behaved," President Obama said.

When queried about the prospect of having teenage daughters in the White House, President Obama was sanguine.

"I'm not anticipating complete mayhem for the next four or five years, but, I understand teenage-hood is complicated," he said.

President Obama added that one reason he's looking forward to a second term in office is because it will keep his daughters away from the dangerous proclivities of teenage boys.

"I have men with guns that surround them often, and a great incentive for running for reelection is that it means they never get in the car with a boy who had a beer, and that's a pretty good thing,” President Obama said.

*Photos by AP; Mandela photo courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Foundation