First Lady: Daughters Need Thick Skin in Politics

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama says her daughters are learning that even the kids of politicians have to have a thick skin.

    "Politics is tough," the first lady said Tuesday. "That's just sort of the nature of the beast."

    But she said daughters Sasha and Malia, at ages 10 and 13, also know that no matter what happens in the November election, "their life is good either way."

    Mrs. Obama chatted about family life, this year's re-election campaign and what's not ahead for her — a career in politics — during a round of interviews promoting the release of her new book on the White House garden.

    As for the personal attacks that swirl around her husband in a campaign year, the first lady said: "You just sort of have to have a thick skin in this thing. And your kids do too."

    Malia and Sasha "understand that their world is secure no matter what," Mrs. Obama said on ABC's "The View." ''They've grown to understand that home is wherever we are. … And Dad is always going to be Dad. So they're good."

    The first lady left no doubt on the question of a political future of her own.

    "Those are other people's rumors," she said. "I have no interest in politics. Never have. Never will."

    She added: "The one thing that is certain: I will serve. I will serve in some capacity."

    Mrs. Obama said her work to support military families "is a forever proposition. They will always need a voice out there."

    Later, with Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show," Mrs. Obama talked about the virtues of fresh veggies and wouldn't bite at a Stewart suggestion that she use her higher poll ratings as a weapon in any argument with her husband.

    "I don't wield it over him," she said. "One of the things I've seen over the last 3 1/2 years, I've seen what it takes to be president. I kind of watch this thing pretty closely. You know, the president is getting all the hard decisions, where there is no easy answer."

    During her media tour the first lady offered other tidbits about the Obama family, and her efforts to promote healthy eating and exercise:

    —The president isn't much of a griller-in-chief. "He doesn't mind grilling, but I was the griller in our household. … I love to grill anything," she said in an interview airing Thursday on "Rachael Ray."

    —She doesn't have to worry about deer or other animals nibbling on plants in the White House garden, thanks to "a big fence and men with guns," she said on "The View." There were some pesky birds to contend with, however.

    —Her effort to fight childhood obesity "isn't about government telling people what to do," she told ABC's "Good Morning America." It's designed to give families information, support and resources to find their own solutions.

    The first lady's gardening book, released Tuesday by Crown Publishers, is "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America."

    ___

    AP Television Writer David Bauder in New York contributed to this report.
     

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