In state of the family, Obama says his time as president helped him be a better father

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union, and also his state of the Obama family.

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  • President Barack Obama's State of the Union address touched on myriad issues, like foreign policy, education and poverty, while also offering an inspirational message about America's future.

  • And it came hours after Obama made another announcement, about the state of the Obama family.

  • Obama told the "Today" show this week that his time as president made him a better father for his daughters Malia and Sasha. As senator of Illinois, Obama was often on the road, unable to speak with his daughters. But his time at the White House forced him to become more "engaged" with his family.

  • "When I was a senator, I was commuting — the girls were still back in Chicago," Obama told the "Today" show. "When I was campaigning for president, I was gone all the time. And I don't have trouble switching off when it comes to Malia and Sasha. That actually is a time where I can kinda block everything else out."

  • This isn't the first time Obama has talked about his role as a father. The president wrote an article for MORE magazine back in June in which he said his family now gathers every night for dinner or for special occasions.

  • "Michelle and I can go to parent-teacher conferences together," he wrote. "I've been able to make Malia's tennis matches and Sasha's dance recitals. Sasha let me help coach her basketball team — the Vipers. They won the title. I've even experienced what all dads dread: watching my daughter go to her first prom — in high heels."

  • The Huffington Post reported that many male politicians talk about how fatherhood affects their role as a politician. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, for example, was reluctant to take his current post since he wanted to spend more time with his family than his predecessor John Boehner.

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  • "Male politicians are increasingly speaking out about balancing their professional life with the responsibilities of rearing a family — a consideration that female politicians were more likely have to deal with in the past," The Huffington Post reported.

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.


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