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. Deb from Oklahoma

    Give your readers a break, is this really important?

    March 5, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. John

    Aw, that's neat.

    March 5, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Haylee


    March 5, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. barbara

    I brought home a very big box for my cats to play in and on top of. They love it! OMG! It will keep them busy for many hours and days. I cant help but smile evry time i see them playing in th ebox. They rae so happy. QUICK! Someone send over a reporter from CNN and a photographer too because this is one of those times in life that can not be missed for anything,...including the economic crisis.
    Daring CNN to post this since they would not do it last evening.

    March 5, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. CarolO

    It's cute but 10 yrs old is getting a bit big for that sort of thing. The littlist girl should like it for awhile, tho.

    March 5, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. Laurie

    Is this really newsworthy ? and do people have anything better to do other than gripe about kids getting a swingset ??? sheesh ! They're kids for chrissake ! do you people know how many welfare $$$ have bought swing sets and non-essentials in the last 60 years ???

    March 5, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Luke Brown

    Let's see.

    The Reagans and both Bushes redecorated the White House to suit their own rather high end tastes, and spent tens of thousands of dollars doing so. (Remember Nancy's china and W's new carpet and drapes?)

    The Obamas got their kids a swing set.

    I'll really have to think about whose choices I admire the best ... for about two seconds.

    March 5, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Barbara

    Really "SCOTT"
    "There goes the neighborhood.". are you a plain racist or a Republican racist ?

    March 5, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. zak666

    For the President's Kids thats a very Modest Set,

    You Bashers should see what the AIG Execs bought for theIr kids with your Tax Money!!

    Aparantly $1million dollar Pink Ponies do exist! lol

    Good Job Mr. Presedint 🙂 If your Family is Happy then you are Happy then all of us will be ,, its the trickle effect 🙂

    March 5, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Manal

    Sharon LV – What makes you think that the American public paid for it? He does get a paycheck and has every right to buy his kids what ever he wants to. As for calling his children "brats",... you're way out of line. Aim your political biases at political figures and not at innocent children.

    March 5, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ The HATERS

    Get a job. The president makes 400K a year. He can afford a playset for his children. Get the hate out of your heart. So you idiots stop saying he used taxayer money to pay for it. And to the racist blogger who said they'll put a watermelon patch on the grounds, you are what is wrong with this country. And CNN has the nerve to try and censor my comments when idiots like that put stupid comments up like that.

    March 5, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. real_army_wife

    My husband is a soldier, and his salary is paid by the tax payers just like the President. Does this mean that I as a mother should not buy my children gifts because the tax payers are having a hard time?

    Good for them for giving a little happiness to their children!

    March 5, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. ranjit

    Look, this picture was distributed and it was done for a purpose to portray the warm fuzzy family nature of white house. If anyone in this forum feels that, no one should criticize, they should also criticize the staff for trying to score some points using the kids.

    March 5, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. John

    Barack and Michelle Obama are successful writers and millionaires in their own right, from the hard work that they've done.

    For a Republican of any stripe to complain about them spending the money they've rightfully earned on something for the play and exercise of their own children would, I'd think, go against everything for which those Republicans allegedly stand. Somebody shouldn't buy something that they have the money for, because of other people having hard times? Wow, conservatives, that sounds a lot like communism.

    March 5, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. An American

    I mean come on now, really. Is this news worthy?

    It's nice his kids have a swing set -actually most kids do if their parents can afford it – especially with a tree house which is the going thing today. However, I do not think it is a good idea for Obama to bring it to the world's attention – that is if he wants his girls to live a normal life. Cannot have ti both ways.

    March 5, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Jean

    This is great! A beacon of normality in an otherwise seedy political landscape.

    To everyone who thinks this is a bad thing or thinks Obama is wasting his time building a swingset for his girls: I would be more worried if he DIDN'T do something like this. In any job, you can't spend every single hour of every single day working. You'd lose any sense of perspective. Plus, I think this perhaps a signal or an example for what the rest of America and the world should be thinking about at these times...a return to good, solid family values.

    Also, in defense of CNN, I think that this is obviously worthy news, because of the discussion it's prompted. And the fact that some people find something wrong with this actually makes me worry about the state of the country even more...

    March 5, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. bobby

    Hehe. Some folks have empty lives to get their hair all mussed up over swing set. Really, it's just a swing set, so the news is a little slow, get over yourselves and go buy yourself a swing set too, if you felt neglected as a child. Some adults sure act like kids, small wonders! Kudos to the Obama kids!

    March 5, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Chris W, Tampa

    How will his kids be fat like Rush Limbaugh if they're playing on swing sets all the time? Next thing Obama might ask all parents in America to try and facilitate their kids getting exercise. First he forces his Socialist Agenda on the lawn of the White House, next it is on ALL of America! Their will be swing sets strewn about every inch of the country, we will not be able to walk or drive anywhere without running into chains or slides or monkey bars. THE LIBERALS WANT TO COVER THE ENTIRE WORLD WITH SWINGSETS LIKE LEAVES FROM A TREE IN THE FALL, THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST SIGN OF THE ENDTIMES.

    March 5, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. teacher

    Wow...referring to the Obama girls as brats. Low. What kind of hate filled person would make a remark like that? What kind of hate filled person would begrudge two children a swingset?

    The Obama girls are not Democrat or Republican...they are children, and deserve to be normal children to whatever extent possible. You lower yourself when you extend your hate-filled rhetoric to people who truly don't deserve it. You show yourself to be unable to differentiate between people who might deserve your ire, and those who are innocent.

    I love the fact that the swingset is visible from the Oval Office. My hope is that President Obama will use this as inspiration, and make the choices that will benefit his children and mine. Seeing his daughters playing will give him a constant reminder of the fact that what he is doing now will impact the generations to come.

    March 5, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. C21T


    Let little girls be little girls!

    There is a core message here folks.

    For instance, it was prom time again and some of the girls were dressed for EMINENT TROUBLE. I don not blame the girls. I do wonder where the parent/s were when the dress was selected? Furthermore, where are the parent/s when the girl walked out of the house half dressed???

    Message; many parents are guilty of forcing ‘grown-up’ lifestyle dynamics onto our young children and literally rob them of their precious and on-time childhood. Pushing and forcing power packed days of school, events, extra curriculum, chores, etc. etc. (reminder this is just one day) is overwhelming and then some. Dinner comes on the run (usually junk food) because the parent/s is the navigator of this crazy-busy lifestyle. Heaven for bid, bedtime comes only when the child/youth plum out of energy! Our very lifestyles create for young souls that haven’t cultivated STABILITY centered in CALM.

    swing set, hopscotch and marbles SERVE a purpose....

    March 5, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. obama-mama

    I hope they put a gigantic moonbounce on the lawn just so I can watch some of the clowns on here turn into the

    March 5, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Dale

    Oh, I'm glad when so many Americans can't afford their mortgage payments or are scaling back significantly, the first brats get a darling swing set. Thanks for the earth shattering news CNN. What a joke this new President has turned out to be!! Either the liberal dems knew he was a marxist all along and that's what they voted for (i.e. they hate America) or they were too stupid to realize what a Marxist he is. So are we surprised when the Marxist President turns up his heat to 72 degrees and buys an expensive swing set for his daughters?

    March 5, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. muffy

    I can not ever remember of any nasty comments when the Bushes spent half of their time in Crawford. What hateful people to be so mean about these darling little girls getting a swing set. I am sure Pres. Obama will never be away from the WH one third the time Bush was.
    You people must have awful lives if you have to say the nasty things about who paid for it, who do you think paid for it Pres. Obama out of his own money. Why don't you guys go get a beer and sit down and watch your IDOL Rush?

    March 5, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. JulesWatanabe

    isn't the 10 year old, slightly too mature for a swing set?

    March 5, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. lois

    Glad they are able to afford it as well as all of the parties and good times they seem to be having in the white house.

    March 5, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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