NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A congressional aide has resigned after receiving backlash over a Facebook post criticizing President Barack Obama’s daughters.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, it all began at the White House turkey pardoning ceremony. Sasha, 16 and Malia, 13, seemed to play their part, standing by, looking slightly amused and like all teenagers, perhaps underwhelmed by an invitation to pet the bird.
But Elizabeth Lauten had a different take. The communications director for Tennessee Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher went after the first daughters on Facebook, writing “…try showing a little class. Act like being in the White House matters to you.”
And she didn’t stop there, adding “Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at the bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events.”
Lauten’s comments triggered a nationwide uproar.
“It’s inappropriate and it’s insulting and it’s unnecessary. You never talk about people’s children,” said Robin McEleney.
“It’s sad cause they are teenagers and are influencable. Just picking on them, it’s really sad,” said Jennifer Georges.
“Let teenagers be teenagers,” said Wendy Toribio.
Other previous First Children have been media targets.
When Barbara and Jenna Bush got in trouble for underage drinking, one writer blamed President Bush’s parenting skills and drinking history, Brennan reported.
Chelsea Clinton’s awkward teenage appearance was once a punchline in a “Wayne’s World” sketch. Sen. John McCain even joked that she looked that way because then-Attorney General Janet Reno was really her father.
“The child can’t really chose who their parents are,” said Doug Wead, presidential historian. “And to throw this burden on them I think is universally accepted that it’s unfair.”
Lauten resigned, saying she judged the girls in a way that she would never would have wanted to be judged herself as a teenager, Brennan reported.
The White House had no comment.
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