Trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in the White House can’t be easy, especially when raising two daughters.
President Obama and the first lady are constantly reminding Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, of their “slightly unreal environment” and that their circumstances are “not the norm,” according to the president.
“They shouldn’t expect to be the norm,” Obama told Amazon’s Kindle Singles editor David Blum in an interview.
“One of the advantages we have is that we still have family members who are not only middle class, but we’ve got some family members who are poor,” he explained. “Malia and Sasha have cousins who know what it’s like to struggle and know what it’s like to have to scrape by. They know that those kids are just as worthy as they are, they just haven’t had as much luck.”
The president blamed a “shift in culture” for Americans’ obsession with consumption and celebrity, saying when he was young “we weren’t exposed to the things we didn’t have in the same way that kids these days are.”
“There was not that window into the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” he said. “Kids weren’t monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success.”
The president sat down with Blum on Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tenn., during his visit to the Amazon plant there.