Tattoo parenting, Obama-style
April 24th, 2013
12:12 PM ET
7 years ago

Tattoo parenting, Obama-style

(CNN) - President Barack Obama says he and the first lady have a good strategy to prevent their daughters from getting tattoos.

"What we've said to the girls is, if you guys ever decide to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place. And we'll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo," he said in an interview that aired Wednesday on NBC's "Today."

He said his daughters, Sasha and Malia, have kept him "posted on what's cool and what's not," but argued he and Michelle know how to make things look not so cool.

Their tattoo threat, for example, is a good tactic to "dissuade them from thinking that that's somehow a good way to rebel," he said.

The president also answered a question about the first lady's recent slip-up in which she described herself a "single mother" during a television interview earlier this month.

"As somebody who has stumbled over my lines many times, I tend to cut my wife or anybody some slack when it comes to just some slips of the tongue," he said. "But there's no doubt there were times where Michelle probably felt like a single mom."

When he campaigned for the Senate and White House, he said he would often be gone for a week at one time.

"She was still working and having to look after the girls. She definitely, I think, understands the burdens that women in part tend to feel if they're both responsible for child-rearing and if they're responsible for working at the same time."

- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Malia Obama • Michelle Obama • President Obama • Sasha Obama
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine


    @St Xavier.....the problem with liberals is that is not possible to live and let live, they must control every aspect or our lives!!!
    Ever hear of the Patriot Act? What wonderful fiction the Right has spun about how Liberals control everything! I remember the moment I decided I was not a conservative: its when Senator Jeremiah Denton introduced " The Teeage Chastity Bill", making it a Federal offense for anyone under the age of 18 to engage in any overt displays of public affection: since when did this rise to the level of a federal offense? 30 years later, I cannot take a Republican seriously when they whine about Liberals telling them what to do: what a load of rubbish. Conservatives are more controlling than liberals ever have been.

    April 24, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama:
    Glad we both survived that stage of motherhood!

    Indeed we did, you and I. Indeed we did. My husband was the go between also. It was nonstop back and forth for him ... "your mother says" ... "your daughter's (#1, #2, #3) reply is" Etc. Etc. Etc. It was always YOUR daughter during those conversations. As if he were a mere bystander. The theatrics, you say? Oh, yes. The THEATRICS. In our more quieter moments, he would shake his head in both fascination and bewilderment, wondering if he could replace them each for boys. On a ten to one ratio.

    Being a grandparent is so less stressful.

    April 24, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Boytjie

    He is are light-years ahead of the previous occupant of the White House 😉

    April 24, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. Babyboomer

    This was a lighthearted joke folks. Ease up for goodness sakes.

    April 24, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Because I say So


    Obama treats his girls like he treats everyone else,...Like dirt!

    April 24, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
    Say what? Medicine will help with that!

    April 24, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Aaron

    So he is pro gay, but a tattoo is out of the question?

    April 24, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Becky

    as a moderately tattooed adult (working on becoming heavily tattooed) I have to say I'm kind of disappointed in Obama's stance... Tattoos are ink on skin... they have nothing to do with work ethic, integrity, responsible behavior, kindness, honesty, decency, or any other personality trait. They are not a sign of evil, vice, violence, or drugs. People need to learn this and how many people will now point to Obama and say "if the president is anti Tattoo than it proves we should all be anti-tattoo.

    April 24, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine


    So he is pro gay, but a tattoo is out of the question?
    Apples and oranges: if you were a good parent, you would get it.

    April 24, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Granite Stater

    Regarding "Control", BOTH the left and the right seek control over the individual. It's called GOVERNMENT and unless you truly want anarchy, there will be some level of control over your life no matter who's in charge. (If you got a ticket, had a lien placed on your house, pay a toll...THAT IS GOV"T CONTROL...and the R or the D doesn't mean squat!

    April 24, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Tom

    Lovely family facing teenage issues like everyone else – just trying to make it through the teenage years!
    Never been more proud of a First family.

    April 24, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Granite Stater

    As for tattoos..Marking up your body is a sign of a lack of self-confidence. This about it, you feel self-conscience enough that you need to 'ink' yourself. I think Obama is the worst president in my lifetime (I am 55) BUT I actually think his stand on tattoos regarding his daughters is actually a good idea. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a great while....

    April 24, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. paul bell

    Anyone outraged about this is clearly obsessed with the President.

    April 24, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    @Paul Bell.

    As are most GOP trolls, they get wet at the mere mention of his name.

    April 24, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. michael

    tattoos are disgusting. You have to wonder about the people who get them. as you get older and you get fatter the damn thing expands into a tattoooooooooooo

    April 24, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    I think he handled it pretty well. Considering that tattoo artists are now celebrities, that tells me how much attitudes have changed. Personally, I think its a waste of time and money, but hey, if you want to have a needle put a foreign substance onto your skin that is virtually impossible to remove, go for it.

    April 24, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Robin

    Wow, I thought liberals were open minded? I would think Obama, of all our presidents, would embrace a tattoo as self expression. I realize this article was talking about his daughters, who are still minors, and getting tattoos for rebellious purposes. As a tattooed parent of a tattooed daughter (OK, she is 19), I think this is the least of my worries as a guiding force behind my kids!

    April 24, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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