Harry, Barry and the Girls

In 1950 Washington Post music critic Paul Hume criticized Margaret Truman’s fledgling singing career by opining that although she was, “extremely attractive on stage…[Margaret couldn’t] sing very well.”  Hume felt the President’s daughter was, “flat a good deal of the time.”

In response, a defensive Truman rebuked Hume’s “lousy review” saying, “I have never met you, but if I do you’ll need a new nose and plenty of beefsteak and perhaps a supporter below.” Harry Truman didn’t hesitate to shield his daughter Margaret. The President‘s retort to Hume’s criticism lacked pretension and exhibited guts in much the same way Truman’s temerity was evidenced in the difficult decision to end World War II.

Fifty-seven years later Barack Obama’s daughters receive dissimilar treatment from both Michelle and Barry. Obama’s public statements about the first daughters coincide with judgmental opinions the President oftentimes articulates about America. Obama focuses foremost on personal perceptions of imperfection, shortcomings and national weakness and does so when speaking about the nation as well as referring to his young girls.

Never once did Truman call attention to Margaret’s flaws, shortcomings or inability.  Yet both Barry and Michelle promote initiatives by singling out Sasha and Malia as negative examples to bolster political agendas.

Take for example, Obama calling on states to toughen educational standards.  The President exercised zero compunction when portraying Malia as an academic “slacker.” Obama publicly confessed his daughter “…got a 73 on her science test.”  The President said, “…even in our own household…there are times when kids slack off.”

Harry Truman made sure Margaret was portrayed as, “a serious-minded honor student with a strong predilection for self-improvement.” In fairness, Obama eventually clarified Malia improved her grade, but not before broadcasting Malia’s inclination to avoid “hitting the books.” Shocking? No, because President Obama apologizes as if America has spent the last two centuries on a Malia-style video game binge.

The President’s critical comments denote a belief that by failing to meet Obama’s standards both Malia and America deserve mediocre grades.  Truman, on the other hand, believed both Margaret and America deserved a standing ovation.  Truman contended, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.

Harry Truman would surely be appalled by Barack’s comment in Parents magazine criticizing 10-year old Malia for, “getting a little chubby.” Defending the daughter the President called “chubby” one year earlier and in response to a non-profit groups healthy eating ad, Obama, issued an edict to the media that Sasha and Malia were “off limits.” Michelle and Barry must have realized, “Children in the spotlight over time potentially feel fear of failure, anxiety, and are often the object of jealousy by peers… impair[ing] important social development?”

The Obama’s feign concern for privacy and then exempt themselves from self-imposed rules. At a media event kicking off a childhood anti-obesity campaign First Lady Michelle, without correction from Barack, relegated Malia and Sasha to the ranks of overweight poster children. Unlike the Truman’s, who never noticed Margaret singing “off key,” Michelle publicly expressed concern over Sasha and Malia’s weight being, “off balance.”

Michelle and Barry should take advice from Bess Truman who “…did her best to pull the White House blinds down.” Unlike the First Couple, Harry and Bess never placed Margaret on the Truman Balcony to point out to the media their daughter’s academic or physical flaws.

A word to the wise, before Shelley promotes herself as a childhood obesity authority, maybe the FLOTUS should brush up on bodily changes females go through when approaching teen years.   The First Lady should take a White House Victory garden rake break and spend a weekend reading, What’s Happening to My Body? A Book for Girls A Growing-Up Guide for Parents and Daughters.

Could Michelle be so bent on spearheading a government initiative she failed to notice normal physical processes taking place in Sasha and Malia’s physiques? Doesn’t Princeton grad Michelle know all girls “gain weight in puberty?”  If the First Lady doesn’t exercise caution when issuing crushing degradation of her girls on the national stage the former employee of the University of Chicago Medical Center, puts both Sasha and Malia in danger of becoming public victims of a pre-pubescent induced eating disorder.

Yet then again Michelle Obama does view America as Barack’s imperfect offspring.  If the past is any indication of the future, after losing teenage poundage Sasha and Malia can look forward, together with the rest of the country, to Mom vocalizing, “for the first time in her adult life” maternal pride in optimal BMI.

Fifty plus years ago an ebullient Margaret Truman ate “Breakfast with her father…lunched with her mother …and [ate] her favorite chocolate cake with her old school chums.”  When Margaret sang off key, Truman applauded both Margaret and America.  Then, when a terrible world war threatened to take more lives, Give ‘em Hell Harry safeguarded the nation like he did Margaret, imposing on America’s enemies the need for a “new nose and …a supporter below.”

Though conjecture, it appears as though Harry’s inclination toward protecting his offspring correlated with Truman’s willingness to defend the nation entrusted to his care.  With Truman as an example, the nation can use as a gauge President Obama’s protective attitude toward his daughters, and do so to measure the  length Barry may be willing to go to defend and insure the safety and security of America.

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