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. J in NJ

    Millions of people have lost their jobs and the economy is in the tank and this is news? Is it not kind of funny that most Americans cannot afford to pay their mortgage, light bill, water bill, groceries etc yet Barack spends money on a frivolous swing set. At least he is being a dad which is more than most people like him can say.

    March 5, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Linda


    March 5, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Scott from St. Charles, MO

    Sharon LV first off before you comment you should know what you are talking about. The Obama's have to pay for that out of there own money, just like their food and clothes.

    Strong...shut up you fool how would you know anyway. Pick on someone your own size...or at least an adult!

    March 5, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Bnice

    Hey Rush, Shut yo trap man! Read my lips. NO PORK WAS IN THE STIMULUS!!!

    March 5, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Robert W

    I'm a conservative Republican and didn't vote for Obama, but the thought of a swingset on the White House lawn with children playing on it brought a smile to my face. I love it! The place is alive again.

    For the bunch of you that can't see the good in this and think that the children are supposed to suffer just because others are. Wake up these are children. It is not their fault that the economy is in the toilet and people are suffering. All I want to know is was it made in the US of A?!

    March 5, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Lovin Obama in SC

    Are you people serious??? These kids are not too old for a swing set. Heck I still get on the swings when my kids go to the park and i'm a 27 year old mother of 2. Anything that helps these kids develop as a normal child gets the thumbs up from me. Get the sour look off your face and chill out. ITS a swingset not a private jet.

    March 5, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Horse Badorties

    As an environmental consultant, I am a bit disturbed at the new play complex installed at the Whitehouse. As far as I can tell in the photo, the play compex is siting on the lawn, and is lacking the requisite wood chip floor soft-impact floor that has prevented thousands of play-related accidents. It is interesting that this safety lapse has gone unnoticed by the press, and one hopes the White House will rectify this situation quickly.

    March 5, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Gary

    it is doubtful they will use it much, especially out in the open grounds like that.

    We'll see if it gets much use during the Easter Egg Drop.

    March 5, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Deb

    Unbelievable the number of callous people that commented on the girls being spoiled rotten and brats. They are children who because their father is the President of the United States can not simply go to the neighborhood playground. You would think people would honor family.

    March 5, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. JB

    Where's the one Bush played on at the White House? You know the swing set he'd sit on when Cheney would kick him out of the room to run the country? He must have taken it to Texas, the Grinch!

    Can you imagine how much it cost to move it all the way to Dallas. Wow. But I guess Laura needs a place to send him to play so he won't get in any trouble.

    March 5, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Mike in Asheville

    Sometime when I need a laugh I look at these comments. It cracks me up how people use this story to posture against President Obama. Come on, folks, this is a light story provides a non-obtrusive way for Americans to learn more about this very cool family.

    March 5, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Cameron

    Good for them, this just goes to show they are like any other family. SHAME on you people who have nothing but negative opinions of this President and his family. You must live boring lives!

    March 5, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Jen

    First let me say this is not politics nor is it really anyone's business. Second, though I am not an Obama supporter I am disgusted at the comments directed towards his children. Children play people! In a time when so many kid are obese isnt it nice to see children actually do something active and outdoors? Its a swingset for pete's sake. Its not like they built them a school sized playground on the White House grounds. At 7 & 10 it's a completely age appropriate toy for them to have and enjoy. Put your bias aside and remember these are children.

    March 5, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. S Callahan

    I think this is awesome....both for the girls and the parents...

    A man works harder when they are reminded they are working for their when President Obama looks out the window and sees his girls playing this will cement the reasons he is in office and motivate him to do the right things.

    When I was a child they institued a Presidental physical education program.....maybe this is also a little role modeling to get your children out and doing fun things.

    March 5, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Debbie

    It is sad that discourse has come to this. The rabid right attack a swing set purchase. The rabid left call all the rabid right, "haters" when the rabid left acted the same way when Bush was in office. It seems like most of America needs to be sent to the corner for a long "time out!"

    March 5, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Andre Bernard

    Enjoy the play-set First Daughters. You both are receiving great educations, you both seem to be well adjusted and quite normal. Have fun! Enjoy!

    March 5, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Barbara

    WE love that family...
    how nice for dad to be able to catch a glimplse of them and (hopefully)
    their friends while he works..
    Are people complaining about the cost of this stuff nuts?
    he can afford it on his salsry idiots!
    Why not complain about the real crooks at Merell-Lynch

    March 5, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. James in Ohio

    Don't forget... These are the young children of the president. They can no longer just go to the amusement parks, skating, or bike riding with their random friends around the neighborhood. Their fathers life is being threatened more than any president in history. At least let them enjoy themselves at their own home with some resemblance of a real life. It is rare we have a president that is of age to have young children, so please just let them be kids.

    I'm by no means wealthy, but my job/ priorities at least allowed me to purchase a really nice swing set and above ground pool for my 2 kids.

    March 5, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Poochie the Dog

    I can't even get angry at the idiotic negative comments on here. They're just too ridiculous. It's a swingset. The people complaining about it really have no grasp of reality and are just looking to complain about anything and everything. And why is this news? And moreso WHY are the comments even open on this article? 'singlemommy' can't afford one so Obama shouldn't buy anything for his kids? That's the kind of insane comments you come to expect on the internet.

    March 5, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Expat American

    Anonymous March 5th, 2009 9:39 am ET
    For crying out loud – it didn't take long to start junking up the White House lawn, did it? Watermelon patch in the rose garden next?
    Like you don't keep your Christmas lights hung up on 'yer front porch all year long'. Fix your teeth, slack jaw.

    Why don't you just get it over with, wear a sandwich board that says "Look at me, I'm Poor, White, Uneducated Trash". You would convey the same message as written in your post.

    I think the swing set was a nice gift.

    March 5, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Bridgette-PA

    Hey "Anonymous" – Why don't you have your name and where you are from listed on the ticker? Oh, that's right, you are a coward. People like you make people like me disgusted! You shouldn't be allowed to breathe the same air as I do. Now, if you really want watermelons in the rose garden at the White House, go ahead and grow them, bring them to me and then I will plant them up your.....and will gladly watch them grow 🙂

    Hey "Strong" and "Sharon LV" – You say the girls are spoiled rotten.....and they are brats.....WOW! I believe it is time you leave this country. You are both hate mongers and don't belong here. I despise people like you. How about you both stop breathing....that will make my day!

    Say something, I dare you!

    March 5, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Joanne Spaziano

    I think a swing set is a wonderful idea. It will keep the girls within view of at least one of their parents, give them outside play, and exercise. What more could any child want! Excellent choice and I hope other parents follow the lead with an emphasis on exercise and outdoor play. Thank you President and Mrs. Obama for being great role models.

    March 5, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. Mama

    It's nice to see the Obamas do put their kids first and got them a swing set. My kids have a swing set similar to this one, and they love it ever since we have one put in the backyard.

    It's not easy for the Obamas to take their girls to public playground so this is the best thing for the girls.

    Kudos to the Obamas for being good paretns.

    March 5, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. enrique

    that is cool I love to swing and do acrobatics
    that is suprise is very nice I am glad to see that since it shows a positive thing for a 10 and 7 year old
    some of you are mad / biter I say WHY ??? let it go please
    there are other things / issues to worry about
    god bless us all

    March 5, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. a mom

    It's a swingset for two little girls who have been thrust involuntarily into an atypical childhood, let them have fun. To all the naysayers, get over it!!

    March 5, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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