March 5th, 2009
04:59 PM ET
14 years ago

A big surprise for the Obama girls


The President and first lady surprised their daughters with this new swing set which arrived at the White House on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo Credit: CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) - The Obama girls still don't have a puppy, but they did receive another surprise when they arrived home from school Wednesday– a brand new swing set.

A spokeswoman for First Lady Michelle Obama says Malia and Sasha, ages 10 and 7, "squealed with delight" when they saw their surprise, playing on the swing set for almost an hour in the chilly weather.

The girls' parents arranged for the play set to be installed Wednesday at the White House grounds, within sight of the Oval Office, before Malia and Sasha arrived home from Sidwell Friends school.

Filed under: Obama family • Popular Posts • White House
soundoff (456 Responses)
  1. Norom

    Sharon LV March 5th, 2009 9:49 am ET

    More wasteful spending. Typical of the Obama family.

    Hey, President-SELECT! There are REAL Americans getting kicked out of their homes, and your building a playset for your brats on the White House?!?

    This is REDICULOUS!!!!!
    -Brought to you courtesy of the "family values" crowd. Hypocrite much? Perhaps you should be spending your time at school to improve your spellling, rather than posting hateful crap on message boards?

    March 5, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. t.lynn

    who cares? its nice but not newsworthy. Jeez anonymous...racist much? Watermelon just the first thing that popped up in your mind, huh? Not just a rose garden or just a small little veggie garden just right to the watermelon, huh? Well, no watermelon but he does want a basketball court so that should satisfy some of the racist hate inside ya. Maybe you're just upset because your watermelon patch failed...maybe your just a failure yourself. Who knows.

    March 5, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. penny

    its ok for bush to replace the dishes at the white before he left which cost the tax payer money but its not ok for the president to buy his children a swing set........ get over it. Atleast we can see the children having fun . can we really get to see the dishes?

    March 5, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. maddawg, wash. DC

    how pathetic....!!!

    i don't mind children getting toys from their parents but one thing bothers me SEVERELY!!!

    i guarantee TAX PAYER money bought that swingset and it is just plain wrong....PERIOD!!!

    friggin selfish, tax payer abusive BS president!!!

    all i've heard from this joke of a president is SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND....and by the way....IT'S YOUR MONEY I'M please, pay for a HUGE gift for my girls so i can look like a father that cares and take the credit for giving them something YOU TAXPAYERS gave them!!!

    he also states, "we inherited this mess....yada, yada, yada...." all the time forgetting that he was VOTING YES on most of the pieces that put this country into this mess when he was in congress during the last administration....


    March 5, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Sine

    you people really need to get some lives – I know misery loves company but they are 10 and 7. This country needs God himself to come down and abolish all these evil and ungodly type of thoughts some of you have!

    March 5, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. chucky1169469

    I find it funny that you die hard republicans are angry that he bought a swing set for his girls. When McCain couldnt remember how many houses and cars he has, you defended him and when Romney was selling some of his houses, you were quick to defend him. I know you hate the man and he'll never be able to do anything to make you like him, but come on.... you're mad at a swing-set. as for the democrats, just as i mentioned about McCain and the other idiot, you were quick to jump on them for their rich ways. I hope each and every one of you can stop and look at the hate you have for a Political party and say to stupid am I being.

    March 5, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. still hoping

    Not an obama supporter, but life as a presidents child has to be unbelievably tough. You really can't go out and play with your friends so good for them.
    Not often I agree with this president.

    March 5, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Ken Jackson

    Glad President Obama is spending our money wisely. Recession and depression and this guy spending our money is news. Whats these broadcasters do for a story is ridiculous.

    March 5, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Jennifer

    I am surprised they went with the vinyl roof versus a wood one. I would have liked to have had a say so since I am sure I helped pay for it.

    March 5, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. ken

    Swing set = politics, how?

    March 5, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. lostincharlotte

    cool! maybe that can be a good place for the girls to go to JUST BE GIRLS! way to go Obama!

    March 5, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. 4 a single mommy

    a single mommy: Many have lost their jobs, and wish they had a swing set for their child. But don't hate on the ones who are able to
    buy ... Stay prayful

    Oh yeah, The Obama's used their own money.

    March 5, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. W. Art

    What did some of these people buy their kids for Christmas? It's a swing set. Why can't these girls be allowed to have fun. Did anyone complain about the Bushes daughters and wild partying? I voted for President Obama. NO, he can't change the whole world, he can only do what he can do. Bush and his cronies were in charge for 8 years, spent all the money on the war and then treated the soldiers like crap when they returned we have a President that is trying to solve some of mess left behind. I wonder how many expensive gadgets those of you complaining, have bought your kids to play with.

    I hope the girls enjoy it along with their friends.

    March 5, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. america first

    that looks cool.

    March 5, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Its About Time...

    That swingset is way cool...

    Too bad he couldn't take the time to build it himself. The seat equity of breaking out the ratchet set and putting it together is worth its weight in gold.

    Those girls are the cutest. I'm so reminded by the Kennedy era.

    March 5, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Steve (the real one)

    Parents are to take care of their families BUT this isn't Political Ticker Material and CNN knows it!

    March 5, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. Drea

    I'm amazed at some of the comments. I guess I shouldn't be...

    Mr. President and Michelle discussed ways to make the WH feel more like home for the girls...

    They paid for it OUT OF THEIR MONEY
    They employed and AMERICAN COMPANY to build the swing set...
    It's right outside the Oval Office so Mr. President can see his girls...

    As for the first dog...for those asking...if you paid attention, you'd know that the FLOTUS said they would get the dog after Spring Break vacation. Doesn't make sense to get the dog before, leave the dog while on vacation, then come back...

    We constantly hear about the economic issues...hell, most of us are reeling from it everyday. I enjoy reading stories like this.

    Now, stop complaining and get out there and do your part to make your community a better place.

    Way to go Sasha & Malia. Enjoy!

    March 5, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Pleasechecksafetyofgroundcover

    Please stop posting these pictures. They are not a safe representation of what a play space should look like. The area should have proper ground cover and it doesn't. A fall could result in and inury because the ground is not properly covered.

    March 5, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Sniffit

    @ V

    Thank you for answering the question that was, at the very least, in the back of everyone's head: "Are the GOPers really stupid enough to think that this has anything to do with the taxpayers' money?"

    You've provided us with a resounding YES.

    March 5, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. Lee in Ohio

    I am also over 50, am a white guy, and I grew up in the south. I am so grateful that we have President Obama and his family in the White House. With the bitterness and racial hatred that I grew up with, I never thought this day would arrive in my lifetime. I thank God that I have lived to see it. It gives me hope that America still has the potential to live up to the ideals in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Oh, and I think the Obama girls are just adorable, and I am HAPPY that they have a new swingset! Have fun kids!!!

    March 5, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |


    March 5, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. sylvia

    The bitter commenters on this post seem to need a little lesson in economics: people spending $ (that is, actual liquid cash rather than plastic) in this recession is helpful to ALL of us. More purchasers equal more demand, which in turn equals more jobs (and income) for all of us. People who have lost their jobs and are having trouble making their mortgage payments need help on the most basic level: a source of income, aka a job. And simply put, jobs are created when people start buying things.

    Certainly the president needs to be moderate in his purchases–after all, it WOULD be insensitive for him to spend outrageous amounts of money on frivolity during these difficult times. But c'mon, a swingset for a couple of little girls? It's appropriate, it's down-to-earth, it's moderate, and it's pumping some money into our struggling economy.

    March 5, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Priscilla

    I love reading about the First Family. It is only expected that all news is reported. The Obamas are excellent parents, and I love to read about their family!

    March 5, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Non-Republican

    I love reading the comments to all the stories posted o CNN.
    You can tell who the Republican supporters are as they are so bitter and angry...
    Their grammar is absolutely atrocious and they do not know how to spell... Quite funny actually.
    I suggest you re-educate yourselves so that you're able to hold on to a job.
    Sharon LV – "REDICULOUS!!!!!" – Nice one...
    Tony – "restrint" – Another gem...

    Hopefully your kids aren't home schooled by you!

    March 5, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. S. Smith

    1. The President is entitled to spend his salary on ANYTHING he wants to and got his daughters a lovely present.

    2. Don't YOU have your children's swing set within sight of your home? Of course you do.

    3. The girls had to put up with a ton of crap during election time and it's a really great present. They've waited months for the puppy and this will keep them busy until it gets here.

    4. I would have loved to have one when I was a little girl. I'm glad they got it now shut up with all the complaints about their new toy!

    March 5, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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