Obama: Daughters ‘Won’t Be Heartbroken’ Over November Loss

By Nitya

Jul 23, 2008 11:55am

ABC News’ Nitya Venkataraman Reports: If Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama doesn’t win the White House in November, his daughters’ might be rejoicing alongside his Republican presidential rival. "They have a wonderful life in Chicago," the Illinois senator tells PEOPLE magazine in their latest issue hitting newsstands on Friday. "So I’m sure there’s a part of them that won’t be heartbroken if things don’t work out." In the PEOPLE exclusive, Obama and his wife Michelle say they’re trying to create a life of stability for their two daughters amidst the chaos of a presidential campaign. Obama’s half-sister Maya Soetero-Ng told PEOPLE routine was something she and Obama missed out on during their younger years. "Our childhood was constant moving and adventure but little stability," says Soetoro-Ng. "Barack wants for his girls a rootedness and community that he didn’t have." The Obamas outline orderly days for their daughters, Malia, 10 and Sasha, 7: the girls earn a $1/week from their father for doing chores that include setting and clearing the dinner table, making their beds, cleaning their toy closet and abiding by an 8:30 bedtime. The apples seem not to fall too far from the trees either in the Obama household. "Our girls love to talk," Michelle Obama says, "They feel confident in their own opinions because we value them even if they’re silly or wrong or a little off." It’s a life of limits, too, for the Obama girls who receive no Christmas or birthday presents from their parents who "strive to teach some limits". Says Mrs. Obama, "Malia says, ‘I know there is a Santa because there’s no way you’d buy me all that stuff.’" While the young Obamas are not untouched by the constant media coverage, Obama tells PEOPLE the sometimes bruising race for the presidency has seemed to roll off his daughters, "I’ve been really happy by how nonplussed they’ve been by the whole thing," he says. "When some folks were attacking Michelle, Malia just asked, ‘What was that all about?’ And we talked it through," he says. Fortunately, he adds "She’s completely confident about her mommy’s wonderfulness." Ultimately, the Obamas believe the experience will be a rewarding one for their children. Obama says, ""If I ever thought this was ruining my family, I wouldn’t do it."

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