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. Florida Mom

    Good for the girls!! Their lives have forever been changed by their fathers presidency and it is obvious that The President and the First Lady are simply trying to give them some sense of a normal childhood. What I don't understand is all the scrooges on here that think it was inappropriate for them to spend a $1,000 on their children, to bring some happiness and joy into their lives! How does this make the Obama's elitist? This is our job as parents and they should be our biggest investment (even when times are tough)! And, hoarding your money in a box under your bed is not the answer to the economic problems of this country! Spending=jobs!!!

    March 5, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Kimberly in Azizona

    Good for them! Those girls cant really get to a park and play, so its nice that they are able to have one brought to them. I hope they enjoy it, I hope they are allowed to have some friends over too, its gotta be hard and lonely at that age. I have not read the comments but I have a feeling the repukes will tear this apart, the trolls that they are.

    March 5, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Vick

    Louise... I am glad you are not my grandmother. You sound like a mean bitter old lady. Shame on you for bashing these children. You are awful!

    March 5, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. my

    It is great they have the place to play! They are children and children need to go out and play.

    March 5, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Freed_From_W

    Anonymous at 9:39:
    "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?"

    Yeah, I know, right? It's like he isn't even thinking in redneck inbred GOP stereotypes! How dare he inconvenience you like that!!

    No, ut seriously, you are a part of the plague released by the darker side of the First Amendment. Crawl back under your rock with your hoods and burning crosses and leave the rest of modern society alone.

    March 5, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Mike

    I hope they enjoy it while they can. Their father is heading toward Impeachment and they will have to go back to Chicago where it is not safe to play in your own back yard.

    March 5, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Kurt C.

    We should all sacrifice because theese are tough times. He pounds that statement into us for months. Nice to see he isn't sacrificing.

    March 5, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Trudy

    FYI – There wasn't any earmarks used for the purchase of the swingset. The swingset was donated by Rainbow Play Systems to the Obama's. I find it sad that CNN couldn't give a little credit to a company that is also having hard times with the economy, but they still find it in their hearts to make a donation of this kind. I'm very glad that the girls are enjoying their gift.

    March 5, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. jake

    i love it! it's refreshing to have someone in the White House with small children. someone who cares about education, health care, our environment, and global peace. vs an administration of big oil, revenge, and bombing the hell out of anyone who disagrees with the USA.

    March 5, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. Wallace

    It is so sad that some Americans do no show respect for the President of the United States with such nasty remarks, and criticizing everything that he does, what do they expect from people from other countries when they read such garbage. I guess he can't buy a pair of socks. RACISM IS ALIVE and WELL

    March 5, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. jjr

    To "big daddy"

    You must have imagined the picture of the Bush twins having a keg party at the White House because it never happened!!! Give me a break! I guess Dems can be irrational also!

    March 5, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. disgusted in The United States Of America

    Yes, it is all wonderful, but in these times this should absolutley not be a headline news story, you would think that maybe they would be a little discreet, give the economic crisis. Some families cannot even feed their children, much less purchase a 5,000 swingset.

    It is a disgrace, Change I hope you liberals are happy, see you in the soup line.

    March 5, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Karlito Renoa

    Where is the puppy? That used to be the family's biggest worry, now they don't know if they will be able to feed a puppy in this economy. A shelter rescue puppy would go a long way in helping homeless pups ( and kitties) throughout the nation. My Snuffles the cat and Rouser the dog are rescue pets. What a nice story that would make, Obama family !!!

    March 5, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. G. Love

    For all of you idiots who want to know how it was paid for – the article on says that the Obama's paid for it out of THEIR OWN POCKET. Enjoy your swing set girls – it looks like you'll have much fun when the weather breaks.

    March 5, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. Soccer Nana

    "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?"

    There is no junk on the White House lawn; these are children you moron and they need yard toys.

    And the watermelon patch is in the yard with your momma's tent, right behind her meth lab..

    March 5, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. Kevin in Ohio

    As I read through these comments, the hate filled comments from the left are every bit as prevalent as those from the right. I do not begrudge the Obama girls their swingset at all. Enjoy.

    March 5, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. JGM

    Hey, all you IMPEACH OBAMAers, you better hope he can dig us ALL out of the mess created over the last 8 years of absolute, sickening greed and corruption to the highest level.

    March 5, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. Sharon

    I have to laugh at the pathetic idiots who are taking their frustrations out on children. How would you morons feel if someone talked about your children like that? I'm pretty sure that you would be upset too. These children have a right to be children as well, just like yours. At least Obama and Michelle are trying to maintain a normal childhood for them. I hope they enjoy their new swing set 🙂

    While I agree that this isn't really news, it's a refreshing change from all the doom and gloom over the last little while.

    Also, if you are going to make negative comments at least learn how to spell correctly.

    March 5, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. dmac

    I find many of these comments astonishing. If you didn't think it was "news", why did you read it and then take time to comment? If you don't think it's age-appropriate (they're 10 and 7, for crying out loud; how much could they have outgrown?), where, exactly, would you like the girls to play outside? To the comments on Obama....he ain't playin' on it. And think about how much he's worked on and accomplished in six weeks. (Do any of you remember the last administration -- at all?) Wow. Actual family values in the White House - there's something to complain about.

    March 5, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. TM in CO

    Just an FYI – I am an Obama supporter. I believe that the President and his family should live on what he campaigned on "Change". Changing Washington. I am not begrudging his daughters the swingset. It is great to see a young family in the White House and I have the upmost respect for them. However, what I think needs to be changed is what the taxpayers pay for regarding the President and Family. Do they pay rent in the White House? Do they pay for the travel expenses when they hop in Marine Corp One and go to Camp David for a private retreat? Do they buy their own groceries? What about the utility bills? On his salary, I think he should pick up alot of these expenses instead of the tax payers!!!

    March 5, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. Kimberly in Azizona

    Sharon~are you insane???? OMG! The kids are not allowed at a park, your PATHETIC!!!

    March 5, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Jodi

    This quote sums it up: As a mother and grandmother I know for a fact those two girls are too big for this silly swing set. Another thing, they do to pretend they are the Kennedys. What a joke, but his blind followers will eat this stuff up.

    PR move. Blind followers won't recognize this. Do you really think a 10 going on 11 yr old is going to play on a playground? I hardly think so.

    Say what you will. It is a PR move to make them look like a normal family. "Awe, they have a swingset, what a typical American family. Obama relates to us! Yay! He bought a playground for his kids!"

    Trying too hard to use the kids as a PR move. It works for you lemmings out there, though. Funny how Obama's dear followers never see anything wrong with anything he does. BLIND.

    March 5, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Jim

    I have to say, I was unsure about whether this constituted real news. On reflection, however, I believe that it does. Maybe a President who watches his kids so closely will be less inclined to send other people's kids off to die in foreign lands.

    Maybe such a President will be more inclined to value the safety, health and welfare of the nation's children by being reminded of his personal duties to his own.

    Good call, CNN!

    March 5, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Ingrid

    I love this...I am so happy to see a loving family in our house. Their energy and enthusiasm for life is the hopeful symbol to those of us who still struggle, and a metaphor for a bright, shiny new day in America.

    March 5, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. AVW

    Geez Loise – Lighten Up. That swing set is plenty big enough for a 7 & a 10 year old. I'm almost 40 with 3 kjids & I still like to swing on a swing set. Can't you people just smile & remember what it is like to be a kid for just a minute??
    And as for the dignaty of the white house – this is probably the most dignified thing that has hit the white house in over 30 years. It brings some LIFE to the place.
    It made me smile to see this...

    March 5, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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