My daughters surprise, enchant me every single day: Obama

Washington: Outgoing US President Barack Obama on Thursday said his two daughters Sasha and Malia surprise, enchant and impress him more and more every single day as they grow up.

“You know, every parent brags on their daughters or their sons. If your mom and dad don’t brag on you, you know you got problems. But, man, my daughters are something, and they just surprise and enchant and impress me more and more every single day as they grow up,” Obama told reporters at his final news conference of his presidency.

“And so these days, when we talk, we talk as parent to child, but also we learn from them,” he said.

Responding to a question, Obama said he thinks it was really interesting to see how Malia and Sasha reacted to the US election results.

“They were disappointed. They paid attention to what their mom said during the campaign and believed it because it’s consistent with what we’ve tried to teach them in our household, and what I’ve tried to model as a father with their mom, and what we’ve asked them to expect from future boyfriends or spouses,” he said.

“But what we’ve also tried to teach them 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. So you get knocked down, you get up, brush yourself off, and you get back to work. That tended to be their attitude,” he said.

Obama said neither of them intend to pursue a future of politics.

“And, in that, too, I think their mother’s influence shows,” he said amidst laughter.

“But both of them have grown up in an environment where I think they could not help but be patriotic, to love this country deeply, to see that it’s flawed but see that they have responsibilities to fix it,” he said.

They need to be active citizens, and they have to be in a position to talk to their friends and their teachers and their future co-workers in ways that try to shed some light as opposed to just generate a lot of sound and fury, he added.

“They have, in part through osmosis, in part through dinnertime conversations, appreciated the fact that this is a big, complicated country, and democracy is messy and it doesn’t always work exactly the way you might want, it doesn’t guarantee certain outcomes,” Obama said.

“But if you’re engaged and you’re involved, then there are a lot more good people than bad in this country, and there’s a core decency to this country, and that they got to be a part of lifting that up,” he said.

“I expect they will be. And in that sense, they are representative of this generation that makes me really optimistic,” Obama said.