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. Wanda Turner

    I would think the girls would have tons to do in the White House and surprised that their parents would erect a swing set on the grounds.

    March 5, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Tracy, IL

    For those criticizing little kids playing on a swing set, saying we are paying for it, or complaining they can't have one: GROW UP. First, the Obama's paid for the set. Second, THEY ARE KIDS. Third, if you can't afford a swing set, at least you would be able to take your kids to a community park to play on one and not be hounded by the media, surrounded by Secret Service and runt he risk of some terrorist taking shots at your kids or kidnapping them to hold the US gov't hostage. These girls need a swing set on White House property to play on in safety. Good God, and I bet all of you out there saying nasty things about these girls call yourself Christians. Well, I call you nasty, evil hypocrites.

    March 5, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. strong

    @ Sick of complainers ....

    Your comments and insults are exposing your immaturity and rudeness. Maybe YOU could get counselling for that. Have a nice day and get lost.

    March 5, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Ramoth

    Oh, and for those whom are stating that the President spent his own money out of his own pocket for that swing set, are incorrect.

    The President of the United States of America, is not allowed to carry pocket money, nor any credit cards. Nor even a Drivers License. His wallet and all personal possessions are locked in a secured vault until he leaves office.

    The only personal possession that Obama has been allowed to keep, was his Black Berry, because he put up such a fuss over keeping it.

    So yes, that Swing Set was likely paid for with Tax Payers money, seeing as it was installed on Government owned Property; the White House Lawn, in sight of the Oval Office.

    March 5, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. WhoCares?

    So any family that buys Swing Set this year is "out of touch" and disrespectful of others.


    March 5, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Katarina

    It is a sad state when a father is getting ripped for buying a swingset for his children... I had a swingset when I was growing up... it wasnt as fancy, but again, they *didnt make them like this when I was growing up* I am sure my brother and I would have gotten a better one.. used maybe, but still..

    At east the furst few comments about this were positive...

    Great way to actually buy something and create jobs.
    As to those hateful comments, lost job, pork blah blahblah.... look to yourselves and the past 8 years and then blame Obama for buying his daughters a swingset. They have given up a lot for thier father, how wonderful for him to be able to give this back.
    so STFU

    March 5, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. Expat American

    Sharon LV March 5th, 2009 9:49 am ET
    More wasteful spending. Typical of the Obama family. Hey, President-SELECT! .... This is REDICULOUS!!!!!
    Har Har har.

    That's right Sharon. President Obama paid for that swing set directly out of your welfare benefits. It looks like you'll have to wait until the end of the month to buy your wine box (which is for cooking right?).

    You are for to laugh – silly drunk.

    Har Har Har

    March 5, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. strong

    @ KV comment:

    Guess what? YOU paid for that swing set of theirs. Hope you like it – now go and drink some more koolaid.

    March 5, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Ronan

    Knowing what I have seen of the First Family this swing set will be also offered for invited children from the local area and their children's school.

    March 5, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. mgs868

    Enough...So either you can't pay your mortgage because you could never have afforded it to begin with, or you can't pay it because you've got not job...What does any of this have to do with someone purchasing a swing-set for their kids ? I've got 2 neighbors who are being foreclosed on right now...The idea is that I shortchange my family and my kids because x number of people pi@@ed their finances away.

    You feel so sorry for all those poor souls losing their homes, let them stay with you...

    March 5, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. kristi- WA

    So cute! The girls are living a very different life then most children. It is great they get a swing set to play on! And I like that the media reported on it. It was a happy story to read first thing in the morning. We don't always need doom and gloom news.

    March 5, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. WhoCares?

    " I can't believe so many adults are critizing a 10 and 7 year old"

    For getting a swing set even.

    Conservatives have no souls.

    March 5, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Pat

    THIS is NEWSWORTHY???? Gee, I wonder how many sets they will buy for children whose families are losing their jobs??? Add some more pork!

    March 5, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Lisa S - St. Louis MO

    Hey, you bashers out there...STOP.

    I mean really, I have seen many rich Republicans here is St. Louis with much larger swingsets for just their one and only child...this swing set is of a reasonable size. I and my husbands are nurses and we have one that is a little smaller but similar for our children, and it did not break our bank.

    They often say that the President is isolated...don't you think his kids would be too? This will give them something to do and someplace to go since they can't go to any surrounding playgrounds or school yards at the drop of a hat like most average American children can...

    In regards to "wasting taxpayer money", this thing cost less than a 10th of a penny from every American...go find a penny on the ground and consider yourself repaid...with interest.


    March 5, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. kira

    If u ask me its too plain they deserve one of the bigger ones..These girls are not spoiled raised the right way..They do there own beds.have chores.and get paid a dollar a week..they are far from spoiled..Look waht It took for them to ever get a dog..Patience..Its just wasnt all given to them..these are strict parents that make them earn what they get..

    March 5, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Houff

    Interesting story, and newsworthy, I suppose, but why does this story belong on the Political Ticker? What is the political slant?

    March 5, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. Law Student MN

    FYI to all of those who think that presidents put earmarks in spending bills: Presidents do not make bills, nor do they put earmarks in bills. Members of Congress put earmarks in bills. Presidents simply sign bills into law. So it sounds extremely ignorant for any of you to say that President Obama earmarked money for this swing set.

    March 5, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Purnell Kankakee IL.

    🙂 have fun little ones!

    March 5, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Angie in Pa

    Get Use to America these are REAL People A real AMERICAN FAMILY!

    March 5, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Lisa S - St. Louis MO

    Oops, typo...I only have ONE husband!! My proofreading skills are a little off this apologies

    March 5, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Litamarie

    u complain about not having a job, so Obama shouldn't spend money until you do. give it a break!

    you obviously have enough money to pay that internet bill so you can post your bitterness on

    everyone needs to STOP COMPLAINING and live your life! there will alway be haves and have-nots.

    when u did have a job, did you u stop buying your kids things despite there were unemployed people in the country?

    you are pathetic!

    March 5, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. Ann

    big dady "Thats better than seeing the Bush girls having a keg party at the white house !!"

    Just wait and see, they will grow up too. Although I hope not to see the Obamas there 4 years from now. But who knows, precocity runs in the family, the Obama girls can start earlier.

    March 5, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Takeshi

    March 5th, 2009 9:58 am ET

    So according to most people on this sitre, Obama is not allowed to buy a single thing for himself?

    Why can't you people use your heads before you open your mouths, he does have a salaray as President so it's his money.

    Or are you saying that every employee that gets paid from the govt is using our tax money?

    When you get up from your chair after reading this look around you and remind yourself that your just another blip on the radar and outside of your immediate family no one will remember who you are when you die.

    Deppressing, isn't it?

    March 5, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. karen

    WOW, ANONYMOUS, racist much?

    March 5, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. carlo

    Some of the comments on here are just sad. THEY'RE CHILDREN! What's wrong with some of you people!

    March 5, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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