speaking the same language

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch as President Hu Jintao of China greets daughters Sasha and Malia before the start of the State Dinner reception in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 19, 2011. Marian Robinson is pictured at right.(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

ABC: It turns out that the State Visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao had one success not mentioned in the joint statement issued at its conclusion: Sasha Obama got to practice her Chinese with President Hu.

As first disclosed by Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications in a videoconference with Chinese bloggers,  more Americans are studying about China these days.

“The president pointed out last night at the State Dinner that his daughter Sasha is a very young girl but her class is studying Chinese,” Rhodes said. “She’s under 10 years old but she’s studying Chinese and she wanted to have the chance to practice her Chinese with President Hu. You know not every 9-year-old has the opportunity to try out her first phrases in Chinese with the president of China.”

19 Responses to “speaking the same language”

  1. 1 Theo67
    January 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    The Sasha-Chinese President encounters are surreal. One minute, she’s just a nine year old on a school fieldtrip, seeing her Dad walking with another man, who just happen to be President’s of two very important countries. Then, she’s just learning Chinese and happens to have a new Chinese friend to practice her phrases with – who just happens to be the leader of a nation of a billion Chinese people. Next minute, she’s a kid sitting at a concert in her house, which just happens to be a state dinner, with some of the most important people in the country in attendance – two of whom are her famous parents and the Chinese President.

    What’s so gratifying is that these first kids seem to be so grounded, despite the thrills they’re exposed to every day.

  2. January 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Who else do we spot? I see VP Biden, and right next to him are the Kissingers. I saw Nancy right away, but Mr. K. is so short it took a minute to find him. *L*

    Is that John Kerry in the back, at the right?

    Speaking of China, not only John Boehner turned down the invite, but so did Harry Reid!

  3. January 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    ummmmmm…….Kerry at the LEFT.

  4. 4 vitaminlover
    January 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Sasha is a little charmer!

  5. 6 VC prezofan2
    January 21, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    I like Malia’s outfit (as well as her composure)! I find it odd, but my visceral reaction to the President and his wife actually extends to their lovely daughters. Something tugs at me big time, EVERY time I see one of them, ESPECIALLY if they are smiling or laughing. No onther politician, and/or family members, has ever evoked this king of reaction in me, and I suspect that I’m not the only one that feels this way.

    • 7 Sue in Minnesota
      January 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      You absolutely are not alone in your response to them. There is alot of photographic evidence to support our inclination to respond openly and positively to them. They are sunshine to my soul.

    • 8 Theo67
      January 22, 2011 at 2:58 am

      You’re definitely not alone.

  6. 9 africa
    January 22, 2011 at 12:38 am

    These kids are so poised.

  7. 10 EDP4BHO
    January 22, 2011 at 1:04 am

    “White House is pushing the family front and center as part of the reelection campaign.

    Posted by: MayBee | Jan 21, 2011 7:52:54 PM”

    This from an ignorant commenter on that ABC story link. Some ass always has to criminalize the Obama family. Now we all know the Obamas do not push their children toward the limelight….they shield them as much as possible, but also do not force them to live in a bubble…..they insist their children grow up as normal and down to earth as possible. I also appreciate that they allow them to participate in a lot of the Whitehouse activities. They will be great diplomats of a sort. To hell with the haters, again.

    • 11 Sue in Minnesota
      January 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

      The hypocrisy and double standards rampant in our policitics is worthy of our disgust. IOKIYR seems to be the standard coming from the right. The party of family values should look first in their own mirror.

      The Obama family is a role model for all Americans…..anyone with a clear eye can see a strong, loving, and flourishing family.
      That AA’s would understanably, and deservedly feel additional pride in this family ,IMO should be both celebrated and encouraged. Own it. The Obama’s dispell the falsehoods and unfair mischaracterizations that have been perpetuated in our culture, and expose them for the lies that they are.

      When individuals attack the Obama girls, in my mind, they have exposed themselves for the pathetic, grasping hypocrites that they surely are. The party of family values should re examine their own, Sarah Palin and family are role models for family dysfunction and political opportunism, if they need to pick apart someones life, they should start with their own.

    • 12 Fred
      January 23, 2011 at 10:39 am


      President and Mrs Obama live their family values every day but unlike other people who shall remain nameless because there are so many of them to name;they don’t go around preaching it

  8. 13 CEB
    January 22, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Check out Mrs. Robinson’s expression. That is one proud grandma! It is natural and expected that the children of the White House share in the events and the responsibilities. It is the ultimate take your daughters to work opportunity.
    I would have voted for this President even if he did not have this beautiful, fun, graceful, smart family, however it is a bonus and a joy for us that he does. I also get an extra thrill seeing AA girls have such a life and how well they are responding to it. I do not expect the presence of the Obama family in the white house to solve some of the real problems that still affect AA families, but simply watching them being themselves, with the entire world watching can help.

  9. 14 Perry
    January 22, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Wow, what wonderful memories these girls will have to share when they grow older. Hopefully if they share with us what their lives were like at this time(in the White House)…that would be a treat for all of us!

  10. 15 Dakota
    January 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Little Sasha practicing her Chinese with the Chinese President! This family makes me so proud.

  11. 16 majii
    January 22, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Now, this is what I’m talking about! More Americans should want their kids to study a foreign language instead of getting insulted when someone speaks a language they don’t understand (I’m talking to you specifically, Rush Limbaugh) and insisting that English is the only language we need to know. Go, Sasha! Keep studying Chinese and any other foreign language you want to study!

  12. 17 Fred
    January 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I seem to recall that is what Miz Bully that was parading her family in a reality tv show and one daughter was on DWTS

    while one is shaking what her her Mama gave her the other is studying Chinese no less at 9 years old.I love it 😀

  13. 18 Kasai
    January 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Love this sign:-) Just wanted to share with you


    “Obama is not a brown-skinned, anti-war socialist who gives away free health care.

    You’re thinking of Jesus.”

  14. January 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I know I have looked at this picture with Sasha, at least 25 times. Her parents are just beaming with love. President Hu looks at her warmly and Malia is looking at her like, “oh No she didn’t do that”. It seems both daughters are equally smart, Malia is a little reserved and Sasha has no fear. What 9 year thinks before they speak. If only we could stay as innocent as children But there is no such thing as “Shangri la”. If we could be carefree and kind as a child then John Lennon’s lyrics to “Imagine” . . “imagine all the people living in harmony.. .” would not have been necessary.

Comments are currently closed.







Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.



RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • Joe: Sometimes grown ups are in charge in D.C. and things get done
  • Sen. Hawley responds to column about 'petty trolling' with 'petty trolling'
  • James Comey: Trump poses a near-existential threat to the rule of law
  • 'A win for all Americans': Head of National Economic Council praises debt agreement
  • Head of conservative think tank makes 'bizarre and dangerous' comments about FBI
  • House member looks for debt ceiling bill to 'cross the finish line' this week
  • As president, DeSantis said he would 'destroy leftism' and 'woke ideology'
  • 9 people, including 3 children, injured in shooting near Florida beach
  • Biden pays respects to the fallen; Trump compares himself to fallen troops
  • Vets from different wars bond over fly-fishing in 'Mending the Line'



Blog Stats

  • 43,364,407 hits
January 2011

%d bloggers like this: