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. C W

    Wow, this is totally awesome! I loved having a swingset when I was a kid. I have fond memories of playing with friends, not to mention it was a great way to burn off some extra kid energy after a day of sitting in school. We made a point of getting a swingset like the First Families for our kids, too.

    I love the fact that the President can see the set from his office – he really seems to understand how to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground. I also think it's great he supports his girls being active and making time to play and just be kids.

    March 5, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Ken

    I am happy for these beautiful children. In difficult times it is especially important to enjoy the happy, small pleasures of life. There is nothing better than playing children!

    March 5, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Jm in PA

    Well, I don't understand why this is really news, but, regardless of politics, the Obama girls are beautiful, and, I admit, reading this made me smile when I thought of the two girls being surprised.

    March 5, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Mary Galbraith

    Note to STRONG: It wasn't the girls complaining about lack of puppy. It was friendly people who'd like to see a sweet dog in the White House.

    March 5, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Bill in Illinois

    Wow – it's hard to believe some of the responses here. I personally think that it's about time that we had someone in the White House who wants to try and make sure that their children have a somewhat normal life instead of living in a fishbowl and afraid to do anything in fear that it won't make everyone happy. I applaud the president and first lady for their attempts to keep things on a somewhat even kee for their children.

    The best thing that we could do is "give it a rest" and let the kids have their fun doing what it is that kids do best.

    Now – on to the puppy and I'm sure that announcement will bring out more of the same. Perhaps you folks could just give it a restr when that time comes and let them enjoy life.

    March 5, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Nick

    Really?? Who thought this is a significant news story? Why do we care about the Obama daughters receiving a swing set? Well there goes more tax payer dollars hard at work!

    March 5, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. fletc3her

    It's a reminder of how young the Obama girls are. It's fun to have actual children in the first family again.

    March 5, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Veteran in Kansas

    It is truely sad, the a childs play set can generate comments such as these from bitter and little people.

    I think it's great that the girls have a chance to have some fun at home, outdoors and I find it refreshing that the playset is situated so that the President can glance out the Oval Office widow and be greeted with the sight of his children playing.

    God Bless America, God Bless the President and the First Family.

    March 5, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. J

    Some people are having a hard time buying food, but aren't we all so very glad that the first daughters can have a swing set, and not just a little swing set. Also, that the O's can continue their Wednesday nite cocktail parties – another big plus for this country in financial crisis. We certainly don't want them to feel any hardships, like missing a golfing date instead of working with the Republicans on the bailout concerns – oh I forgot that is a Republican issue of partisanship and saying anything against the O-man is racist. No long can we call a wrong a wrong.

    March 5, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. LLM in MD

    You guys are pathetic. Alot of folks are suffering NOT EVERYONE. Are these little "Black" girls suppose to have less than any other "Kids" in the WH. Haters, haters, haters, grow up. It's amazining how so many are complaining about STUPID stuff our first family is doing. Where was the outrage for the last 8 years. As long as it's a "white" person damaging our country it's OK. AH YES, racism is alive and well!! Great job AMERICA....

    March 5, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. lyn in Canada

    This is for all the horrible people who is complaining about the First girls swing,get a life it's just a swing. I wish our President the first Lady and those sweet girls all the best,and may the Lord keep them safe each and everyday.

    March 5, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. AJ from Austin TX

    So these girls get a big new swing set while the rest of the country is suffering. There are people losing their jobs, their homes, their 401K's and their healthcare, and we're all supposed to feel giddy about this story?

    March 5, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Annette

    You know the problem with this is we should hear zero about these girls. They are not in politics they are simply children. As far as I am concerned we should hear zero about Mrs. Obama. These three are not news worthy; they do not affect the day to day going on of the normal American, they are not who the public elected. They are not celebs (which I could without hearing about most of the self entitled stunts they pull). The Obama’s themselves should be ashamed of allowing these girls in the limelight. In the race to the Whitehouse they pushed them out there, when those silly dolls came out they were outraged, but then they flip back and announce the arrival of a dog and now a swing set. All not news worthy, no more so then the theory that Mrs. Obama's arm are tone and now women around the world want to wear sleeveless tops because of the desire to be like her. Mr. Obama is the only one we should hear about.

    March 5, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. Emi

    Another news article reported that the Obama's paid for this themselves, so grow up people. It's wonderful and a human thing to do. 7 & 10 are not to old to play, why be in such a rush to make them grow up? A hint to all you naysayers: my daughter's friends that were "too old" at that young age to play, were the ones that were experimenting with sex and drugs by the time they were 14. I'm very happy to see the first daughters being encouraged to stay children for now. It is a lesson many other families could take to heart.

    March 5, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. LLM in MD

    Enjoy girls, you deserve the best. After all, you are our FIRST DAUGHTERS!! and WE love you!!

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

    He's part of the elite because he bought a SWING SET?! Really? A swing set? Not a gold-plated toilet. Not a corporate jet. Not a house in the Hamptons. A swing set. For his kids. What kind of moron would post a comment like that?

    By the way, the best thing you can do for the economy right now? You or any other citizen? Buy a swing set you Dittohead idiot!

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

    I think its great that the kids got a swing set........ And for those of you complaining about your bills because of a swingset......... NEWS FLASH:::: the few hundred dollars would not help your situation anyways......... you would just spend it irresponsibly like you did your other pay checks and then want to blame it on others..............

    We as americans think that jobs like Burger King and McDonalds..... are beneath us........... Get over yourselves...............

    My daughter is 7 and if I want her to swing on a swing set I will take her to the PUBLIC PARK!!!!!! No big deal.................. Stop getting so rawdy just because Pres Obama bought his kids a swingset........ You didnt just become broke on Jan 20th after the inaguration... you have been BROKE for the past 8 yrs.......................

    So go to college....... Get into politics........ Become a Senator....... Then run for President.............





    March 5, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Michael

    First, there are many more important things going on then whether or not someone bought a swingset. However, beyond that 3 things are clear: First off, everyone has a right to buy a swingset for their kids and its a little illogical to get upset over that. Second, the Obama's do seem to legitimately care about the well being of others, so to claim otherwise because of one purchase for their own interests is perhaps not justified. But third, I notice that some people feel the need to resort to name calling of those who are critical of the president. I agree that criticism of President Obama is not justified by him buying a swingset for his daughters. However, to call people pathetic or miserable or make light of another's poor circumstances by saying you must live a miserable life lol, as i've read some of you do is downright cruel. Instead of making light of the perceived bitterness of others and laugh about the possible misfortune of others with cruel comments, why don't you all do something in your communities to help those who may be worse off so that some of that bitterness may be ameliorated? Once again, it is irrational to criticize President Obama for this purchase, but it is also cruel to call other people miserable or pathetic or claim that they live sad lives. So to the people who have said such things, you're logic on President Obama may be correct, but your character with regards to the things you say about others is obviously extraordinarily low, and I would advise you to work on that. Thanks for reading.

    March 5, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. dac

    Who paid for the swing set?

    March 5, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Juanita

    Watermelon patch, Anonymous? Ignorance is a choice and you've chosen to be the back end of a donkey. Good luck with that.

    March 5, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    I can't BELIEVE people are being so hateful about the Obama family ... actually, "inspired" by incendiary nonsense from "Flush" Lamebawl (sic) and Co., I guess I shouldn't be.

    Did it ever occur to any of you haters that it's an AWESOME job to raise a family in the fish bowl that is the White House? Some of you had the unmitigated GALL to criticize the President for inviting the girls' grandmother to live with them.

    Enough, already! We HAD eight years of the drunken Bush clan. It's nice to have a ROLE-MODEL for the families that the Repukes supposedly value so much occupying the White House.

    March 5, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |

    Think of the trees that are lost to build this swing set. Whats the carbon foot print of this thing (chainsaws to cut the trees,trucks to hall the lumber,power needed to saw the logs,trucking to get the swingset to the White House,ect.) ? Global Warming requires sacrafice from everyone. NO SWING SET,

    March 5, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. C W

    Regarding who paid for the set, my guess is the First Family did. The President is paid a salary, and they have to pay for everything except rent on the White House.

    March 5, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Gina

    Sharon LV – You sound like a bitter person. So it's wrong for someone to buy a swing set for their children if they can afford it because others are struggling?..or is it just wrong for the Obamas.
    To call those girls brats is just mean and hateful. Whether you agree with President Obama's decisions are not, how can you justify your ignorant comments? Will you respond please?

    March 5, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Captain

    I don't agree with the President and didn't vote for him... however I can't understand attacking his children for a swingset.

    Nice choice by the way... my kids would love something like that.

    March 5, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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