These Photos Capture The Close Bond Obama Has With His Daughters

by Morgan Brinlee
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With all the time his family has spent in the public eye, it's no secret that former president Barack Obama enjoys a close bond with his two daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama. In fact, photos of Obama with his daughters show just how much the former president values his other job title — dad.

"Both my daughters are wonderful people," Obama told daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres back in 2016. The president went on to call Malia "one of my best friends," adding that it would be hard not to have her around all the time when she headed off to college. "They really are solid kids," Obama said. "They don't have an attitude. They're courteous and kind to everybody. They work hard, they don't feel like they're entitled to anything."

Even a cursory glance at photos taken during Obama's time in the White House make it clear that he worked hard to balance his presidential duties with his dad duties. What's more, it seems that Obama continues to value the time he spends with his two children, 20-year-old Malia and 17-year-old Sasha. In fact, while speaking at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Spain earlier this year, Obama said the "most memorable trips" he's taken where the ones where his daughters accompanied him.

"Traveling now with my children is now what's most important," the San Francisco Chronicle reported he said. "There is something spectacular about seeing a new place, being exposed to new ideas and experiencing a new culture. Traveling makes you grow. But as a parent, when you are able to watch that sense of discovery in your children's eyes? That is more special than anything else."

His Three Best Girls

Obama gathers his wife and two young daughters close in an undated photograph shared by Michelle on Instagram.

Candles & Cake & Birthdays, Oh My!

In a personal photo shared by Michelle, Obama can be seen preparing to blow out the candles on his 43rd birthday cake with his wife and daughters beside him. Obama turned 43 in 2004.

A Little Fun On The Campaign Trail

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In 2007, then-Sen. Obama took daughter Sasha for a spin in a bumper car at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

Election Day Lessons

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On election day in 2008, Obama took both of his daughters with him when he went to cast his ballot at his local polling place. In the photo, however, only Malia is visible as Sasha was too short to be seen over the voting both's privacy screens.

A Front Row Seat To History

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In January 2009, Obama was sworn in as president with his daughters standing by his side.

At Work With Dad

In the summer of 2009 during one of Obama's first trips abroad as president, he watched his youngest daughter Sasha light a candle inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

Growing Up In The White House

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During his eight years in the White House, Obama was often seen catching up with his children between meetings and briefings. Here the trio talks while walking Bo, their Portuguese Water Dog.

Father-Daughter Downtime

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While president, Obama squeezed in time with his daughters between meetings and briefings at the White House.

A Father-Daughter Outing

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While life as a member of the first family can be far from normal, Obama and his daughters were sometimes able to enjoy a regular errand like this market outing — albeit with the White House Press Corps in tow.

A Father-Daughter Hike

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A simple hike in the woods with dad also tends to look a little different when dad's other title is president of the United States. Local police accompanied Sasha, then 13, as she hiked with Obama at Great Falls Park in McLean, Virginia, in June 2014, the Daily Mail reported.

Dad Jokes

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In 2014, Obama's daughters appeared visibly embarrassed by their dad's jokes at the annual presidential turkey pardon. In fact, when Obama asked his daughters if they wanted to pet the turkey to be pardoned, Malia's quick "nah" spoke volumes, CNN reported.

Those Special Moments

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Despite his time-consuming job as president, Obama always appeared to make his daughters a priority, often finding ways to weave his role as a father into his presidential duties. For example, the president marked Malia's 18th birthday at the White House Independence Day party by taking control of the mic and serenading his daughter on stage, NBC News reported.

Given how close his relationship with his daughters appears to be, it's likely that Obama has enjoyed spending more of his time with them since leaving the chaos and scrutiny of the White House behind.