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US lawmaker’s aide draws backlash for scolding Obama’s daughters

A US lawmaker’s communications director was facing social media calls she be sacked after her Facebook rant about President Barack Obama’s daughters prompted widespread anger.

Elizabeth Lauten, spokeswoman for Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, wrote a scathing post to her Facebook account scolding Malia and Sasha Obama, 16 and 13, for looking bored while attending a public event with their father on Wednesday last week.

In the post, since deleted but widely reproduced in screen grabs, Lauten tells the girls to “try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play.”

The girls stood beside Obama — looking vaguely bored — as he issued the annual Thanksgiving turkey “pardon,” saving two birds from the dinner table.

The underwhelmed expressions of the teenaged sisters sparked mainly amused comment, but Lauten’s remarks were notably more caustic. She wrote:

‘Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.’

Predictably, Lauten’s bizarre rant was poorly received, drawing fire after a screenshot was shared on Twitter. The post quickly drew ire on Twitter and elsewhere, with many calling for Lauten to be fired.

Star Jones, a lawyer and television personality, was among those unimpressed. “I’ve seen tacky people…but rarely seen someone as tacky as #ElizabethLauten for slamming the children of the #POTUS,” she tweeted.

Many directed their tweets to Lauten’s boss, as the hashtag #FireElizabethLauten went viral.

One commenter, whose username is Eclectic John, wrote: “@RepFincherTN08 There is nothing that excuses what #ElizabethLauten posted re the children of our President. That’s off limits. Fire her now.”

Lauten has long since deleted the post and posted an apology on Friday.

‘I reacted to an article and quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager,’ Lauten wrote on Facebook, also widely reproduced before she made her page private. ‘After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents, and re-reading my words online I can see more clearly just how hurtful my words were. Please know that these judgmental feelings truly have no pace in my heart. Furthermore, I’d like to apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and I pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience,’ she added.


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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9 comments

  1. Ok. Apology accepted… Now fire her biko… :/ :/

  2. While I think the Lauten lady went overboard and her apology is the most pretentious bit of nonsense ever, I also think she did have a point. Yeah, she was too harsh and it was probably a publicity-stunt she didn’t think through, but as far as her observation with the Obama girls’, she was somewhat right. Malia wasn’t appropriately dressed, truth be told, and would it have killed if they kept from making faces during a nationally-televised event?
    I know they are just teenagers and are probably in this phase where they think the world is about them, but it’s not. Their father is the Leader of The Freeworld, and being first-daughters is a real ROLE.
    My ish with Lauten’s rannt is her very disrespectful remarks on the character of the Obamas and their parenting; also the way she bashed the girls who are at the end of the day still kids… That was low.
    But she did make some valid points.

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Perhaps if she’d taken a more…I dunno…advisory tone, it would be more appropriate. And yes, calling into question the parenting of the Obamas and likening it with their responsibility to the US was absolutely a big no-no.

  3. I second that, Dozie.

  4. Biko dozie we were once 13 and 16 so their making faces was age acceptable n pls don’t even think dat der attire was a mistake cos someone somewhere picked out their cloths. They wanted them dressed casual jus like dat. Or maybe just maybe the kids wanted to dress like dat for d turkey speech besides its not like a gala night. Who wouldn’t b bored with a turkey speech. N y did they even bother to have dem der. I mean what’s d point of their presense.
    Oya fire d lady.

  5. The rants of a silly woman! So what if the girls chose to wear a frown on their faces and appear disinterested?! What’s it to her?! They’re teens, that’s what they do! Plus, they didn’t sign up to be the President of the United States, their father did, so she should do well to cut ’em some slacks and shove that empty, forced bullcrap of an apology down her throat, while she’s at it and pick on someone her size!! Talk ’bout talking before thinking! Clueless person, ‘agbaya’! Psst!j

    • shakespeareanwalter

      I taya o. She could have been funnier and teasing. Going as far as to call them classless and spit on the parenting of Mr. and Mrs Obama was uncalled for.

      And it doesn’t help that she works with the opposition.

  6. The one with the ash colour top is fine, which kain face she make? Wetin dem read for the face?

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