WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will take a cue from daughter Sasha on where to live after his second term ends in 2017, and that means that they might end up staying in Washington, ABC News reported on Friday.
The president’s older daughter, Malia, now 15, will likely be in college but Sasha, now 12, will still be in high school when Obama leaves office.
“So we’ve got to - you know we got to make sure that she’s doing well ... until she goes off to college,” Obama said according to ABC News excerpts of an interview set to air at 10 p.m. on Friday (0300 GMT on Saturday). “Sasha will have a big say in where we are.”
The Obamas own a home in Chicago, and the president frequently mentions his hometown with affection.
He has been less than complimentary about Washington and its polarized political culture. The Obamas have been criticized for not socializing as much as other U.S. presidential couples and instead spending much of their free time with family and a group of trusted, old friends.
But their daughters, who both attend the private Sidwell Friends School, frequently have friends over to the White House, hosting sleepovers and pajama parties on the third floor, their parents said in the ABC interview.
Obama indicated moving his youngest child to another city when she was in high school might be difficult.
“Because she’s, you know, obviously they - and Michelle -have made a lot of sacrifices on behalf of my cockamamie ideas, the running for office and things,” Obama joked.
Michelle Obama, who has said her most important job is “Mom-in-Chief,” has worked hard to keep her daughters sheltered from the constant media scrutiny of the White House.
She told ABC that she has limited their access to social media, including Facebook.
“I still am not a big believer in Facebook for young people ... particularly for them, because they’re in the public eye,” Michelle Obama said.
“Some of it is stuff they don’t need to see and be a part of ... So we try to protect them from too much of the public voice,” she said.
In the interview, Walters asked Obama whether Michelle - whose popularity ratings far exceed those of her husband - would make a better president than he would.
“That’s an easy question, but she is smart enough to know that she might not want to go through the process,” the president said.
Reporting by Diane Bartz, Roberta Rampton; Editing by Paul Simao and Sandra Maler