GOP Aide Backtracks on 'Class' Dig at Obama Kids

Elizabeth Lauten's comments to bored Sasha and Malia inspired backlash
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2014 8:03 AM CST
GOP Aide Backtracks on 'Class' Dig at Obama Kids
President Obama, joined by daughters Sasha and Malia, pardons a turkey from the dinner table in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Obama trotted out his daughters for the sixth pardon of a turkey of his tenure, and when they, like much of the rest of the nation, appeared bored by the tradition, a congressional aide created a stir by publicly taking offense, reports the Washington Post. In a Facebook post since deleted, Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher, R-Tenn., wrote: "Dear Sasha and Malia: I get you're both in those awful teen years, but you're a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play." She hit Obama and the first lady as "coming up short in the 'good role model' department," then advised the girls to "dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar" and to not "make faces during televised, public events."

Lauten's post picked up steam online, inspired much comment via #ElizabethLauten on Twitter, and hours later prompted Lauten to "apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words." The BBC notes that she went on to say that she "had judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager." The post is "a way to kind of make a statement about who the president is through how the kids are acting," says a presidential historian. Lauten, Fincher, and the White House all declined further comment, notes the Post. Malia Obama got in a little dig at Chuck Todd yesterday in a bookstore, adds the New York Post, calling the fact that he has a book out already "sad." (More Sasha Obama stories.)

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