In Interview, Obama Talks About Parenting A Teenager

Jun 17, 2011

In just a few weeks, President Barack Obama hits a pretty important milestone: His daughter Malia becomes a teenager.

ABC's Good Morning America had a pretty long chat with the president, just in time for father's day. Robin Roberts asked him about becoming the father of a teen and Obama seemed surprisingly cool. He said:

"Malia and Sasha, for whatever reasons, and I think Michelle gets the lion's share of the credit, they're smart, they're funny, but most importantly, they're kind, they're respectful, they're responsible, they're well-behaved. I could not ask for better kids.

"I'm not anticipating complete mayhem for the next four or five years, but, I understand teenage-hood is complicated. I should also point out that I have men with guns that surround them, often. And a great incentive for running for reelection is that means they never get in a car with a boy who had a beer. And that's a pretty good thing."

The president also joked about what would happen when a suitor comes calling. He acknowledged that coming to the White House would be "a little intimidating," and that he might "invite him over to the Oval Office, ask him for his GPA, find out what his intentions are in terms of career."

That gun line, by the way, is the president's go to. We remembered hearing it before and found at least one instance of it back in a 2009 interview with Newsweek.

In that interview the president repeats that his kids are "happy" and "normal" and he expresses some worry about their teenage years. He said:

"Now, I worry about them when they're teenagers where, you know, you're already embarrassed about your parents and even more embarrassed on TV all the time. And dating I think will be an issue because I have men with guns surrounding them at all times [laughter], which I'm perfectly happy with, but they may feel differently about it."

Below is the video of the GMA interview. The talk on parenting starts at about the 2:30 mark.

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