'Normal' family life helps White House kids

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Associated Press

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 8:33 AM

WASHINGTON, DC - Growing up in the White House means growing up in the spotlight. Malia and Sasha Obama will endure it for four more years. Children of past presidents know the feeling.  

The Obama children are often with the president and first lady at events like the Democratic National Convention or election night.

Children of past presidents recently gathered on stage at a conference on first families.

"You very much depend on the people that you know already, your lifelong friends and you depend on your family members," stated Steven Ford, who lived in the White House during the Gerald Ford presidency (1974-1977)

Barbara Bush, daughter of President George W. Bush, agreed. She said election nights were particularly hard.

"Our family always came together on every election night. We had all of our aunts and uncles and all of our cousins because it can be very stressful and we just wanted to be with each other."

Jenna Bush added, "I wish that Americans saw politicians and all people as people."

Lynda Johnson, now Lynda Johnson Robb, was in college at when dad Lyndon Johnson was sworn in and the family moved into the White House. He was president from 1963–1969.

"I never did like the invasion of privacy of the press. Now with the secret service I did just fine. I made a deal. You don't tell on me, I won't tell on you," she said.

They all agreed - at any age, nothing prepares you when you're the children of the president.

 

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