Obama takes daughters shopping for books


President Obama took wife Michelle had their daughters to basketball on Saturday – and appeared to have a whale of a time. The first family flew from the White House in Marine One to Towson University in Maryland after buying books at a small DC book store in support of Small Business Saturday. They watched a NCAA basketball game between Oregon State Beavers and Towson Tigers. Malia and Sasha sat a few rows behind as the President and his wife had a front row seat for the game. The Obamas appeared relaxed and happy with Mr and Mrs laughing constantly through the game, except when he paused from the giggles to have a hot dog. Earlier in the day, on a visit to a bookstore a few blocks from the White House, the president picked up a hardback copy of Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.
The book, by Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, critiques America’s foreign policy and ‘failed war on terror’ following the September 11 attacks. But, ensuring their father also had some light reading, Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia picked up picture book Everyone Poops and teen favourite Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever. The family – minus Michelle – took a trip to Kramerbooks in Washington D.C. on Saturday in support of Small Business Saturday. It is the second year consecutive year the retail industry is encouraging shoppers to visit smaller businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to give them a helping hand in the tough economy. The movement is a counterpoint to Black Friday and the enormous sales offere.
‘This is Small Business Saturday so we’re out here supporting small businesses,’ President Obama said. To help shops at the start of the most important shopping season of the year, Obama also signed a message of support on Wednesday that noted small businesses ‘are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our nation’s promise’. The casually-dressed family were greeted by scores of shoppers who filled the popular coffee and bookshop on Connecticut Avenue. When five-year-old Alexander Lee Mussehl stepped up to the president to say hello, Obama told him he was getting an early start on Christmas shopping. His youngest daughter Sasha, 10, browsed the Philosophy section, taking in titles about Zen and religion.
Malia, 13, ended up with a pile of hard-back books, which also included The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, a mystery novel following the adventures of a clock keeper in Paris. Perhaps the most entertaining choice of reading was Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi – a picture book that, as its title suggests, shows different sized animals as they poop. They also picked up Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, the sixth book following the life of middle school student Greg Heffley. President Obama is a devout supporter of small bookshops – often taking his daughters with him to boost their libraries.