The birthday song didn’t have the viral legs of Obama’s 2012 Al Green impersonation. But the Twitter thing? That was a rare and intriguing tidbit considering how fiercely protective the Obamas are of their daughters’ personal lives. And not only did Obama reveal Sasha’s inherent normality (what 15-year-old isn’t on social media?), but he basically shouted that example into the megaphone of the 2016 presidential election — effectively opening the doors to the predictable onslaught.
“Everybody can tweet, but nobody actually knows what it takes to do the job until you’ve sat behind the desk,” Obama told the crowd at a North Carolina stop in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “I mean, Sasha tweets, but she doesn’t think that she’s thereby … should be sitting behind the desk.”
The next hour headlines were knee-jerk: “Everyone Is Wondering If Sasha Obama Tweets,” “Does Sasha Obama Have A Secret Twitter Account?” and “Which One of These is Sasha Obama’s Secret Twitter?”
While we’ll probably never know Sasha’s handle (although it’s a safe bet that this isn’t it), it’s all but guaranteed that the first daughters have Twitter accounts — and Instagram, and Facebook and Snapchat and whatever newfangled social media platform turns out to be the next best thing. They’re teenagers. Teenagers who are constantly trailed by Secret Service and who probably have a dedicated staffer monitoring their social media moves, but teenagers nonetheless.
The Obamas’ parenting philosophy relies heavily on normalcy and preparation. To them, daughters are special but not, as the first lady once pointed out, influential. Malia can do her laundry, she went to prom, completed a cool summer internship, learned to drive and had at least one brief online misstep. By the laws of sibling reciprocity, it stands to reason that Sasha will follow her big sister’s map of navigating the White House fishbowl.