How Obama & Trump Talk About Their Kids Shows They're Two Totally Different Dads
How parents talk about their children can reveal a good deal about their relationship with them. It's probably one of the reasons why there are various reports on how Donald Trump and Barack Obama talk about their kids. From their praise for their children to their concerns, what presidents say about their offspring could help readers understand how leaders of America navigate parenthood.
While he was the president of the United States, Obama had built a reputation for himself as a humorous and thoughtful father of two young girls, Sasha and Malia Obama. Whether he was sharing his thoughts on Father's Day or delivering his final press conference, Obama shared his comments on his daughters saying that they "enchanted" him with their resilience and hope.
Now that Trump is the president of the United States, the president is known for showering his children, particularly Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., with praise emphasizing their intelligence. Considering that Trump's children are older than Obama's, the president has also discussed their input on policy-making. In the past, for example, Trump praised Ivanka for working on various policies for furthering employment prospects in the digital and technical sector.
When placed side by side, Trump and Obama's words for their children read like any other father's. But when you look closer, you might notice that Obama tends to keep his love draped in humble terms while Trump opts for grandiose descriptions.
1. Obama Regrets Media Spotlight On His Daughters
"I think that we got carried away in the moment," Obama told NBC News in 2008. "We were having a birthday party and everybody was laughing, and suddenly this [television interview] cropped up, and I didn't catch it quickly enough, and I was surprised by the attention it got."
2. Trump Says Life For Ivanka Could've Been Different
In 2017, Trump painted a different hypothetical for his daughter, Ivanka, while speaking in Hamburg, Germany. "If she weren’t my daughter it would be so much easier for her," he said. "That might be the only bad thing she has going, if you want to know the truth." He added that he was proud of Ivanka from "day one."
3. A Vulnerable Moment For Obama In Fatherhood
In 2017, Obama spoke at the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children and spoke about how hard it was to see his daughter, Malia, off to Harvard. Back then Obama said, "I dropped off Malia at college, and I was saying to Joe and Jill [Biden] that it was a little bit like open-heart surgery, and I was proud that I did not cry in front of her. But on the way back, the Secret Service was off, looking straight ahead, pretending they weren't hearing me as I sniffled and blew my nose. It was rough."
He went on to say, "And it's a reminder that at the end of our lives, whatever else we've accomplished, the thing that we'll remember are the joys that our children, and hopefully way later, our grandchildren bring."
4. "What If He's A Loser?"
In her memoir titled Raising Trump, Ivana Trump wrote that Trump once showed hesitance at naming his son after himself. His reason, according to Ivana, was "What if he's a loser?"
5. Trump Calls His Son A "High Quality" Person
In 2017, through White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump praised his son, Donald Trump Jr. According to Sanders, Trump said, "My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency." On other occasions, Trump has also tweeted things like "[Donald] is a great person who loves our country!
6. Trump Discusses Parenting Style
In an interview with Howard Stern in 2005, Trump described his parenting style. He said that the mother should focus on raising the children while he covered the finances. He said that he "won’t do anything to take care of" of the young ones.
He added, "I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids. It’s not like I’m gonna be walking the kids down Central Park. Marla used to say, 'I can’t believe you’re not walking Tiffany down the street,' you know in a carriage. Right, I’m gonna be walking down Fifth Avenue with a baby in a carriage. It just didn’t work."
7. Obama Discusses Beauty Standards For His Daughters
In a 2016 Time magazine interview, Obama opened up about the pressures his daughters faced as young women in society. "When I was a kid I didn't realize as much," he said, "or maybe it was even a part of which is the enormous pressure that young women are placed under in terms of looking a certain way ... I mean Malia'll talk about black girls' hair and will have much opinions of that. And she’s pretty opinionated about the fact that it costs a lot, it takes a long time, that sometimes girls can be just as tough on each other about how they’re supposed to look. And so it’s, as a parent, that’s a constant learning process that you’re trying to hold the fort."
8. Trump Calls Ivanka A Genius
In July, Trump sang praise for his oldest daughter, Ivanka. The president said in Iowa that Ivanka "went to Wharton School of Finance and she was always a great student." He added, "I said, 'Ivanka, are you going to do your homework?' [and she'd say,] 'Yeah, I've already done it, dad.' Then she got As, I said, 'she doesn't work!' And I remember when she graduated from Wharton, she did very well and her friends said, 'We had to work harder than she did.' And I don't know if they were happy or not but they liked her. Everybody likes Ivanka."
9. There's Tiffany, Too
While there have been more reports of Trump praising Ivanka and Trump Jr., the president has also given positive remarks about his other children like Tiffany Trump and Eric Trump. In April, Trump spoke in Ohio and brought up his children, "Speaking of a job well done, we have two of my daughters here today: Ivanka, who is working hard on infrastructure! Ivanka ... and Tiffany!"
10. Trump Praises Eric For Fundraising
In 2016, Trump tweeted about his other son, Eric, and said, "My wonderful son, Eric, will no longer be allowed to raise money for children with cancer because of a possible conflict of interest with ... my presidency. Isn't this a ridiculous shame? He loves these kids, has raised millions of dollars for them, and now must stop. Wrong answer!"
11. Trump's More Uncomfortable Words About Ivanka
In the past, Trump has joked about dating his daughter, Ivanka. In 2006, while appearing on The View, Trump said, "I don't think Ivanka would do that inside the magazine, although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said that if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her." He's also commented on her physical appearance as being "voluptuous."
12. Obama On His Daughters Dating
When it came to dating, Obama said that he was more of a "relaxed" type of father. "The truth is, I'm pretty relaxed about it for two reasons," Obama said on North Carolina's WDCG's radio station in 2016. "One is [my wife] Michelle — she's such a great example of how she carries herself, her self-esteem, not depending on boys to validate how you look or not letting yourself be judged by anything other than your character and intelligence. Hopefully I've been a good example in terms of how I show respect to my wife."
13. Obama's Words Of Hope To His Daughters
In his final press conference, Obama also said, "What we’ve also tried to teach [Sasha and Malia] is resilience, and we’ve tried to teach them hope, and that the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world, and so you get knocked down, you brush yourself off and you get back to work."
14. Trump On His Youngest Son, Barron
In an interview on Larry King Live in 2010, Trump said that Barron Trump enjoyed "bossing everybody around the house" and took pleasure in "firing the housekeeper and nanny many times."
15. Trump On Fathering His Children
In 2004, Trump told New York Magazine, "I’ll tell you what I’ve learned: Children are tough. Much tougher than people think. I think this, I’m a really good father, but not a really good husband. You’ve probably figured out my children really like me — love me — a lot. It’s hard when somebody walks into the living room of Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach and this is supposed to be, like, a normal life. But they’re very grounded and very solid."
"The hardest thing for me about raising kids has been finding the time," Trump went on to say. "I know friends who leave their business so they can spend more time with their children, and I say, 'Gimme a break!' My children could not love me more if I spent fifteen times more time with them."
16. Trump Calls Eric & Don Jr. Great Hunters
In 2015, Trump tweeted, "My two sons, Eric and Don, have long been expert hunters and marksmen. They go on safaris and give animals to the poor and starving villagers!"
17. A Bit Of Praise For Tiffany
Mashable reported that in 2016 Trump told Fox and Friends that he was proud of Tiffany "to a lesser extent." At the time, Trump said, "I mean, I'm just looking at them right now as an example ... but I'm very proud 'cause Don and Eric and Ivanka and, you know, to a lesser extent 'cause she just got out of school, out of college, but, uh, Tiffany, who's also been so terrific. I mean, they work so hard."
18. Obama On His Tech-Savvy Daughters
While speaking to GQ magazine in 2015, Obama said, "It's so interesting watching my daughters. Both are complete ninjas on the phone, right? And they can do things that I don't even understand — they're doing it in two seconds. But I even see a difference between Malia, who's 17, and Sasha, who's 14. There's almost a mini-generational gap in terms of Sasha being so connected seamlessly to this smartphone in a way that Malia, who was already a little bit older when it really started to take, is not."
19. Obama On Being "Enchanted" By His Daughters
In his final press conference, Obama said that his daughters "enchanted" him and that he hoped that they would do their part in improving the United States. He said that "they could not help but be patriotic, to love this country deeply, to see that it's flawed, but to see that they have responsibilities to fix it."
Of course, he said, the country had its fair share of problems but he added "there are a lot more good people than bad in this country, and there's a core decency to this country, and that [Malia and Sasha] got to be a part of lifting that up. And I expect they will be."
Presidency and parenthood is a topic that some people in America might be curious about, especially if it can shed light on how American leaders handle being parents. In quotes from both Trump and Obama, it's clear that the presidents aren't just filling in the role of leaders for the country — they also have had to keep up with being First Dads.