It’s inevitable: At some point, teenage kids just aren’t that into their parents anymore. President Barack Obama, parent to two teenage daughters, set out to combat that trend by hanging out with his girls in New York for the weekend.
The trio, plus some of the girls’ friends, seemed intent on packing a lot into their 24 hours together in the city.
They had a wide-open day to fill Saturday after zigzagging around Manhattan in dad’s motorcade Friday night.
They lingered past 11 p.m. over dinner at an Italian place in Greenwich Village and took an after-hours tour of the Whitney Museum that lasted until midnight.
A New York weekend was Obama’s idea. He often laments that his girls are less interested in spending time with him now that they are older. But the concept gets a little complicated, of course, when dad is the president.
Obama’s every move requires massive security precautions that tie the bustling streets of New York in knots, and he can attract throngs of onlookers in an instant.
Hearty cheers went up from the street corner late Friday as the Obamas left Carbone; a crowd had massed outside the restaurant when word spread that he was there.
This is not the ideal environment for father-daughter bonding.
But after more than 6 1/2 years in the White House fishbowl, Malia, 17, and Sasha, 14, have adjusted to all the attention and they know how to carry on.
Sasha and two girlfriends hopped aboard Air Force One for the trip to New York without even a hint that they had noticed the photographers and TV cameras pointed in their direction Friday.
Malia was there to meet them in New York. She has been interning on the set of HBO’s ”Girls” this summer.
First lady Michelle Obama, who skipped this trip, already had her own bonding time with the girls when she took them along on an official trip to England and Italy last month.
Beyond New York’s innate appeal, Obama’s visit to the city also may have given the president a chance to give more thought to where the family will land when they leave the White House in January 2017. New York is among the cities that get the most speculation.
Malia is entering her last year in high school and has been making the rounds of prospective colleges. She has visited a number of New York schools including New York University, Barnard College and her father’s alma mater, Columbia University.
Obama was scheduled to return to Washington on Saturday night. He’ll be back in New York for a few hours on Tuesday for one last appearance with Jon Stewart on ”The Daily Show” and a Democratic fundraiser.