Growing Up in the White House

11/05/2008 at 09:30 AM ET
Jim Bourg/Reuters/Landov

Last night, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States. Regardless of which candidate you voted for, you must admit it will be fun to watch Barack’s adorable daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, grow up in the White House. In fact, there hasn’t been a child of less than 10 years old living in the WhiteHouse since Amy Carter’s arrival at age 9, back in 1977.

Malia and Sasha have tagged along with their father on the campaign trail these past two years, and for their dedication, Barack announced last night that the two would be bringing a new friend with them when they move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20th! He told the crowd gathered in Chicago’s Grant Park,

"Sasha and Malia, you have earned the puppy that’s coming with us to the White House."

Interested in what White House life is like for children? Take a look back at other famous White House kids — from Chelsea and John Jr. to Barbara and Jenna — in PEOPLE’s "Growing Up in the White House" gallery.


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Tracie on

I certainly don’t envy them growing up in the White House. I would hate the constant scrutiny and the Secret Service and having the media chart my every move. I wish the Obamas a lot of luck as they make this transition with their daughters.

phoebe on

Those girls are gorgeous. Malia has Michelle’s features and Barack’s face shape, where as Sasha is exactly in reverse! Mummy and daddy are very lucky to have two such beautiful daughters, I hope we get to see their new puppy soon as well!

Jay on

Beautiful little girls…what an inspiration to see the Obama family in the White House!!!

tara on

These little girls are so gorgeous and poised. I think at the age they are at now, living in the White house won’t be so bad. When Malia turns 13 it will probably change. How funny to think of her as a sneaky, spunky teenager. I am thrilled we will get to watch these girls grow up.

Jess from Ohio on

This is one thing I am really looking forward to. It’s nice to see children in the White House. I remember seeing the pics of JFK’s kids in the White House and always wondered if kids would make it back into the White House. It’s so cute that Barack got his girls a puppy as a present 🙂

Yonni on

I startyed crying when he addressed the girls. I can’t wait to see these girls grow up. I can’t even imagine how they are feeling right now.

Bren on

They are beautiful girls and I can’t wait to watch them grow up in the white house!!

Congratulations to the Obamas!! God bless you!

lilith on

Congratulations to the president-elect. What a ride so far and what a historic moment.
But I’m with Tracie on this one. For the children’s sake I hope that the media will leave them alone and let them grow up as private as possible regarding the circumstances. It will be hard enough for them as it is.

Mia on

Huge congratulations to the Obama family. Both the daughters are beautiful. And I think it’s so cute about them getting the puppy 🙂 I had forgotten that Barack Obama had made a deal with them. I wonder what kind of dog they’ll be getting.

c-ann on

What beautiful girls! I hope they adopt a shelter puppy. That would warm my heart even more.

Susan on

I loved that line about the puppy! I grew up in D.C. and I can tell you, these girls will be surrounded by security at all times. But, people in D.C. have mostly been respectful of children in the White House. Although, there has not been a child in the white house since Clinton was elected, and it is a different world now. I hope these kids are left to grow up OUT of the spotlight. Only time will tell, I guess.

Elyse on

Those girls are both so adorable! Last night they were just so sweet with their family. You can really tell what a family man Obama is. It will be fun to see these girls grow up in the White House. Congratulations!

Can’t wait to see what the new puppy is! I don’t know if anyone watched Ellen when Michelle was on, but Ellen gave the girls a dog house that is modeled after the White house. That is going to be one lucky dog!

Danielle, CBB Senior Editor on

I love how their outfits coordinated and I loved how Michelle wore a dress.

The girls are so cute and I am excited to have kids in the White House again.

marlee on

Beautiful family. I have so much hope for the future this morning. Yes we can!!

GGirl on

This family seems just like all of us. That’s what makes them so amazing. I just pray for the safety of all of them, especially the little girls. Last night was amazing and I felt God’s Grace upon all of us!

Lauren on

They’re beautiful kids and very poised for their age, undoubtedly because of their life style. Having young children in the White House again will be an experience for sure. I loved their outfits last night, especially Malia’s red dress, and have a feeling she’s really going to go places. She just has *it.*

On another note, did anyone else see Michelle on Leno last week? How great was it that her outfit was from J.Crew? I’m a J.Crew junkie, so she got major brownie points from me for that.

elidh cross on

anyone know where sasha and mailia got there dresses from

Meg on

Those girls are just the cutest! I loved the puppy line too.. I cracked up! I can’t wait to see them grow up, they look like such smart girls.

Natalie S. on

First and foremost..Congrats to President Obama. I never thought in my lifetime that I’d see the day when someone of color would be president, i’m so excited for the next four years. As for the girls, wow Maila is one beautiful Tall little girl. Honestly I never paid attention on how tall Michelle is. Both girls looked stunning in their dresses and I loved what Barack said about the girls getting a puppy and taking to the White House.

mom-squared on

Beautiful little girls with a beautiful mother who is all class. I admire Michelle greatly and even moreso now that she is the First Lady. I’ve always been proud to be Black and a woman despite all the horrific stereotypes people like to throw out in the real world and in the media. But today, I really believe I walked a little taller and I didn’t hesitate like usual when I told my two young Black men I’m raising that they can be anything they want to be, even President of the United States of America.

carly on

I am so happy for this day.It feels like a new beginning and a fesh hope at the same time.Congratulations to these beautiful girls for such poise and grace

MiddleClassPersonWhoActuallyWorksForALiving on

I highly doubt we will see them growing up in the White House. Traditionally, socialist leaders are extremely private, making sure that there is nothing to criticize — not that you are allowed. Philadelphia and a couple of other cities got a taste the other day of the “special police” to which Obama has referred several times. Get ready people. My Christmas present to myself is a handgun; I’m going to protect myself while I still legally can.

Destiny on

I’m an accountant but I would gladly give up my job to become Sasha and Malia’s nanny for the next 4 to 8 years so that I could see firsthand thier experiences in the White House. I think that they are going to have a great time. I’m sure Barack and Michelle will do all they can to shelter them from the media and try to give their children a sense of normalcy during thier time there, as much as possible anyway. But overall I’m hoping that the will walk away from this experience with a lot of great stories to share with the friends and even thier own children and grandchildren.

Michelle on

What beautiful little girls. Just a little bit older then my girls. I hope the media is kind to them. I’m sure it will be tough for them to be under that microscope.

yeswecan on

President-elect Obama’s speech was inspiring last night. When he began talking about Ann Nixon Cooper, well that just about did it. Malia and Sasha must be very proud of their father but I think the greatest gift they had last night was the sense of hope that Ms. Cooper’s story conveyed. As two African American young girls I hope that the image of one woman, who has lived through some of the darkest times and some of the most inspiring times in American history, walking into a voting booth and making history will stay with them and give them hope in whatever hardships they face in their lives, whether it be as women, African Americans, children of the President of the United States, or simply the rough times that come with growing up in general.

“So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made? This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.”
-President-elect Barack Obama

Dannie on

What a beautiful family and such a refreshing change. I pray for protection for President elect Obama and his family during his time in office.

Cheryl on

Obama has publicly stated on more than one occasion that the dog that they bring to the White House WILL be a shelter dog. I love that.

I am so glad to see that he was elected last night even though I am Canadian, living in Canada, it is still a historical event even for us.

Veroncia on

I believe that a White House with small children cared for by loving parents makes for a better country. Congrats to President Obama and his beautiful family.

Kate on

What a beautiful family. I’m excited to see what kind of dog they’ll get to be our new First Puppy!

Cassandra on

Those two are so beautiful! I can’t wait to see them grow up, I’m sure they will be wonderful girls with parents like Barak and Michelle.

Ms.B on

They all looked amazing last night! What a beautiful first family we now have.


Alice on

Lol Kate, “First Puppy”!! That cracked me up!

Kelly on

First off congrats to not only our new president, but the entire Obama family! I knew they could do it. Those two girls are just absoutly adorable. I personally could never imagine having to grow up with a president father, and would not want the eye constantly on me. But they seem like a pretty level headed family, I’m sure there parents will try to make the transition on them as easy as possible.

Rachael on

Just a quick note…I thought the girls were just beautiful…but I couldn’t help but notice that the way that Michelle’s dress fit her made it look like she had a little bit of a belly bump. I am not the kind of person that calls out the belly on someone, but I have talked to several people today and they have said the same thing. What do you all think…or am I just losing my mind.

Claire on

Rachael, I looked up the designer (Narciso Rodriguez Spring 2009 collection) and even the runway model wearing it looks like she has a belly pooch. Though a White House baby would be great! I think only two First Ladies have ever given birth while First Lady. I’d be shocked if Michelle joined that club.

Lauren on

No matter who you prefered as a candidate, it’s a lovely thing that the White House will have two young kids running around giving the place a sense of wonder innocence. It’s always a great house, but this might make it a litte better still.

Sasha on

Congratulations to our new First Family! Sen. Obama has serious work cut out for him, but he will be able to keep his eye on the ball. Mrs. Obama exudes such dedication to and leadership of their family. Look how confident her girls are. All of us can and should fully embrace our new President-elect.

Maddie on

I am so happy Obama won! Seriously, I started to cry when he made his speech, and I’m not even American! I think he represents such a great change for America, I wish his family all the best as they settle into their new role as First Family of the United States. On a side note, I adore the name Malia 🙂

Rosy J on

Nothing warms our hearts quite like the innocence of children. Malia and Sasha Obama are two beautiful little girls who are certainly no exception. The closeness they share with such devoted and gifted parents will help ease their time spent in the White House. May the Lord bless and keep the whole family. I never dreamed that I would see the day when our country would live up to it’s creed. Congratulations to the Obama Family and God bless the United States of America!

Bancie1031 on

I’m not happy about Obama winning. HE lost not only my vote but my respect when I learned he was going to legalize something that I consider so morally wrong – and I’m leaving it at that.

These little girls are so pretty and precious! I’m not sure how to pronoun Malia’s name (can anyone else me)? I am honored that we’re going to get to see Sasha and Malia grow up in the white house and see what kind of young ladies they become. I love their dresses – does anyone have any information on them?

gina on


Has Canada had a person of color running your country yet? If not, we’ll be excited for your country too if you ever do elect one.

And to all those posters who think these girls will be left alone, you’re kidding right? They’re celebrities and open to the same kind of stalking as any other celebrity children. As long as we come to these sites, they’ll be chased and photographed. They’ll get used to it just like all celebrity children do.

Loren on

I agree with all the posters, especially Lauren. Congratulations to Barack Obama on his historic win. It is good to see children in the White house, the girls are adorable, Michelle is wonderful. Best wishes to the entire family as they embark on this very public and scrutinized journey!

lf on

CUTE!!! How do you pronounce Malia?

Lilly on

What a graceful speech Sen. McCain gave and what a touching and inspirational win for our country when they declared Sen. Obama our President-elect! I am so happy to be alive and to get to experience this moment in our history.

Michelle is a graceful lady and smart parent, so I’m sure she’ll try to keep the girls grounded and will raise them well. I only hope that the press and public is courteous enough to give the children their space and privacy.

Jessica on

@ If

Malia’s name is pronounced MaH-Lee-Uh

Melea on

I find it crazy that my name is Melea (just spelled differently but pronounced the same) and I have a dog named Sasha… LOL! Cute girls and it will be fun watching them grow up!!!

If on

Jessica- Thanks!!

kb on

the two girls take after their parents so much!

Malia takes after her mother. The high forehead, the sophisticated and intelligent eyes and expression, the arched eyebrows.

Sasha resembles Barack more. She has his head shape, his eyebrows, his smiling eyes and his smile.


brooke on

Malia is so pretty, and sasha looks just like michelle to me. They seem like such sweet kids, and nice they will get a dog

Molly on

According to the Wall Street Journal, Malia’s dress was from Biscotti. She had on a different belt and a cardigan. But it’s definitely the same dress.

No word on Sasha.

Jessica on

@ Molly I saw a dress at Dillard’s that look exactly like the one Malia is wearing. It was $55.

Jessica on

I just got confirmation on Sasha’s dress.

It’s by Iris & Ivy and sells at Nordstrom and Dillard’s. It
s $72 but they’re all sold out.

They will be coming out with a new line of dresses similar to this one and is calling it “Sasha”

you can also go to for similar designs.

brannon on

Gorgeous girls. Gorgeous family. Spoke with a family friend who has said that Michelle is thrilled the girls will experience perks of white house but has insisted to staff that her rules stay the same – girls will still clear the table and make their beds everyday! Love that and can’t wait to watch these two beauties evolve.

terri on

I love seeing Barack with his girls. He’s so sweet with them. Especially when he dropped them off at school yesterday. They just wanted kisses from their daddy. Too cute.

I also love seeing how very different the two are. Those two girls are going to have some serious fun in that big White House. I pray for the entire Obama family.