Barack Obama is revealing the hilarious thing that scares him about his daughter, Sasha. The 44th president virtually appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday to promote his new memoir, A Promised Land, and revealed that it’s his 19-year-old daughter’s similarity to his wife, Michelle Obama, that frightens him from time to time. The former first couple also share 22-year-old daughter Malia.
“Sasha is a mini Michelle,” Obama said. “I’m afraid of Michelle and Sasha, having seen that, basically has the same look and same attitude.”
While his younger daughter takes after his wife, Obama noted that “Malia is more like me temperamentally.”
“We call ourselves ‘The Long Faces,’ because [Malia’s] face is more shaped like mine, and ‘The Round Faces’ are Michelle and Sasha,” he explained. “The Round Faces are a fiercer tribe. We’re like the vegetarians, the gatherers, and they’re the hunters. We try to keep the peace with them… I’m generally the brunt of jokes in my house.”
Since its Tuesday release, A Promised Land has already become a bestseller, even surpassing the impressive sales the former first lady’s book, Becoming, had when it came out in 2018.
“It’s a tad more, but I’m not rubbing it in over dinner,” Obama said of his book’s sales compared to that of his wife’s. “In truth, Michelle’s attitude is, ‘Boy, you go out and sell some books. That’s fine. ‘Cause that’ll pay for some of my shoes.'”
As for his daughters’ reaction to his book, they’ve yet sit down and read it.
“You are never a prophet in your own land,” Obama quipped. “They’re attitude is, ‘We’ve got better things to do than to read your boring rants and raves.’ They’ve promised at some point they will.”
“In truth, I think it took them like 10 years before they finally picked up my first book,” he added of his previous books, Dreams of My Father (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2006). “I suspect by the time they’re 30 they will have read it.”
Throughout his most recent memoir, Obama writes about the challenges of being a husband and father while serving as president.
“My dad wasn’t there when I was growing up. When I married Michelle and we talked about starting a family, I said to myself, ‘I’m going to do things differently. I’m going to make sure my daughters know me, they know they’re loved, they know they’re supported,'” he said on JKL. “Overall, they say, I think, I did a good job on that front, but there were a lot of times that I’d be gone more than I wanted, especially during the campaign for the presidency. There were times where I’d have to leave early, in the middle of something, because some crisis comes up.”
“Maybe most frustrating, I couldn’t do normal stuff with them,” he continued. “If we wanted to go to a bookstore while I was president, you’d have the SWAT teams, they’d have to bolt down the manhole covers in front of the store.”
No matter how busy he was, though, Obama made sure to have dinner with his family every night, a tradition, he said, that improved his job performance.
“The good news was — and I didn’t anticipate this, but it ended up being a weird benefit of the presidency — you don’t have a commute because you live above the store. I was able to make sure I was having dinner with them every night at 6:30,” he said. “You come down from the situation room and suddenly you’re hearing about some dorky boy at school or witnessing an argument between Michelle and Sasha about whether Sasha’s going to actually eat that spinach or not.”
“It takes your mind off things a little bit. It helped ground me,” he continued. “I actually think I was a better president because of that constant reminder of what’s the point of all this other than making sure you’re leaving a better world for your kids.”
A Promised Land is out now.
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