Watch CBSN Live

The Obama Girls, Stuck Growing Up in a Fishbowl?

Malia Obama, 10, and Sasha Obama, 7, right, arrive at the U.S. Capitol to see their father, President-elect Barack Obama, swear-in as the 44th President of the United States and the first African-American to lead the nation in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP) AP


(NYC/CBS) When Barack Obama launched his campaign for president in 2007, his daughter Malia was 9 years old, and Sasha was only 6. While their father may have chosen to be a public figure, the girls are along for the ride.

They join a long list of youngsters who have grown up in the White House . And as the media frenzy surrounding Chelsea Clinton's wedding shows, they will remain public figures, even after their father leaves office

During his appearance on ABC's "The View" last week, President Obama said, "One of the things Michelle and I are so adamant about is making sure Malia and Sasha have as normal a life as possible."

During an interview this weekend with Harry Smith on "The Early Show," Mr. Obama said, "The best aspect of my job is that every night I take a two-minute walk and I'm there to see Malia and Sasha and Michelle."

He also said that he is very proud of the beautiful young ladies that his daughters are growing into, and credits the first lady for that.

Michelle Obama, who is a strong supporter of being an active parent, has said she intends to remain a mother first, and a first lady second.

Between sitting on the sideline at soccer games and double-checking homework, she seems dedicated to keeping her daughters' lives as normal as possible. contacted the White House Press Office of the First Lady to ask about parenting strategies and was referred to president's comments on TV. The spokesman declined to elaborate on those.

In interviews, Mr. Obama said his family sits together every night and talks about "the rose and the thorn," sharing the best part of their lives at that moment, and any challenges that they may have faced.

The president said on "The View" that one "rose" in the last month has been his family's vacation in Maine.

"We went on bike rides and hikes," he said of the trip. "You know [Malia and Sasha are] getting old enough to where they're not quite teenagers yet, so they still like you."

The president describes his daughters as being at a great age. "They're full of opinions and ideas and observations," he said..