Barack Obama’s eyes welled up as the outgoing 44th US President delivered his farewell speech in Chicago. He thanked his ‘best friend’ -- his wife “Michelle LaVaughn Robinson of the South Side” -- and then, spoke of his pride in their two daughters, Malia and Sasha
“You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily,” said Obama, “Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.”
At the close of his speech, his family joined him on stage and waved to the crowds, but the Internet did not fail to notice that one member of the family was missing: Obamas’ younger daughter, Sasha.
What could be more important than witnessing her father’s farewell words? The Internet came alive with speculation:
"OMG. Wait. That was TONIGHT?!" - Sasha— Sam Sanders (@samsanders) January 11, 2017
sasha obama couldn't make it because she's at home planning her 2040 campaign— Taylor Trudon (@taylortrudon) January 11, 2017
Turns out, the real reason was something different. Sasha, 15, a sophomore at private school Sidwell Friends, where her elder sister Malia graduated from last year, had an exam at school Wednesday morning, a White House official told CBS News. While her family travelled to Chicago, Sasha stayed back in Washington DC to study.
Sasha Obama missed her dad's farewell address because of an exam. I need to remember this the next time that a student asks for a deferral.— Duane Bratt (@DuaneBratt) January 11, 2017
Sasha Obama just nullified every plausible absence from class you were thinking of using this semester https://t.co/PHyhtMhb8b— Elle Beene (@elle_beene) January 11, 2017
Sasha Obama is not under contract to be publicly showcased as a status symbol for patriarchy. She doesn't need any fucking "excuse."— Donna M (@donna_m_cd) January 11, 2017
If Sasha Obama really missed this because of an exam in the morning, there are no more excuses for anything, ever.— Viral Patel (@viralmpatel19) January 11, 2017
In an earlier interaction with Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Michelle Obama had mentioned that “my first job was to make sure they were going to be whole and normal and cared for in the midst of all this craziness”.
The Obamas clearly wanted their kids to have a settled childhood, with academic commitments taking priority over anything else. In March, Obama announced that he and his family will stay in Washington for a couple of years after his presidency so that Sasha can finish high school, marking a departure from presidential custom.
“Transferring someone in the middle of high school,” the president said. “Tough.”