Thus Spake Zuska

Picturing Malia Obama in the White House

Tonight I watched the Barbara Walters interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. They were talking about their daughters’ reactions to the White House, and shared a story about Malia. She said that she had thought that the White House would be an untouchable place, where you would be afraid to touch anything, but it wasn’t like that. And that when she had some long papers to write for her classes, she thought she might work on them at the desk with that thing signed by Lincoln – meaning, the draft of the Gettysburg address. She said she thought it would inspire her to think big thoughts.

My first reaction was “aw, that is just so cute.” And then my second reaction was just sort of a chill and a thrill, to think of that little girl working on her homework at a desk next to a draft of the Gettysburg address.

It feels damn good to be living through this piece of history. May we all be inspired to think big thoughts, good thoughts, and go forward into a better future.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


  1. #1 Samia
    November 27, 2008


  2. #2 Susannah
    November 27, 2008

    “She said she thought it would inspire her to think big thoughts. ”

    Now, there’s hope for the future; a little girl of that calibre thinking “big thoughts”. Go, Malia!

  3. #3 MissPrism
    November 27, 2008

    That brings tears to my eyes. Let’s all think big thoughts.

  4. #4 Paul Browne
    November 27, 2008

    You’d have to have a heart of granite to not find the thought of a child descended from slaves (on her mothers side) doing her homework under a draft of the Gettysburg address…it even makes the slaughter on the battlefield itself seem to have been worthwhile.

  5. #5 BikeMonkey
    November 28, 2008


    Paul Browne: Although I suspect your motives are pure here, I hate all this namby-pambying about the fact that Obama is African, pause, American instead of African-American. In some contexts it makes a slight bit of sense. Here, the dealio is that had slavery continued it would have made not the slightest bit of difference. Had segregation and Jim Crow and all that crap continued, ditto.

    the thought of a child who would otherwise have been enslaved doing her homework in the nation’s house, currently occupied by her family who would otherwise have been enslaved…..

  6. #6 Zuska
    November 30, 2008

    BikeMonkey, excellent comment. Absolutely to the point.

  7. #7 Paul
    December 1, 2008

    Sorry BikeMonkey, my motives are indeed pure. I added the “on her mothers side” in an attempt to pre-empt anyone coming on to say that Barack Obama is not descended from slaves.

    I do see your point and agree with it, I shouldn’t have added that remark.

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