Air Force One better than cattle class, says Sasha Obama

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Asked Tuesday how Christmas would differ this year, eight-year-old first daughter Sasha Obama showed she is quite comfortable with the perks of dad's job, replying: "It will be easier to get on the plane than last year."

As President Barack Obama prepares to fly his family off to Hawaii for the Christmas holidays, Sasha and older sister Malia, 11, visited Washington's Children's National Medical Center with their mother.

"How will the holidays be different for you this year?" one curious child asked, prompting the response from Sasha which was met with a chorus of laughter.

Since taking office in January, Obama and his family have had two Boeing 747 airplanes at their disposal, luxuriously outfitted aircraft that are designated as "Air Force One" when the president is aboard.

"Every year, ever since the kids were born and even before, we go to Hawaii, because that's where the president is from," First Lady Michelle Obama explained to the audience of some 200 children, some of them in wheelchairs.

"So as soon as all the work here is done, we'll go there."

The first lady and her daughters carefully dodged another question from a child who wanted to know what Christmas present they would be giving the president.

"Oh, I can't tell," Michelle Obama said. "Don't say it, just give it a category," she cautioned her daughters.

The First Lady divulged that her husband could expect something related to sports, with Sasha adding: "It's something he likes."

Michelle Obama and her daughters also revealed that there are some 26 Christmas treesWhite House. distributed throughout the White House

"Unfortunately, you don't get presents under all of them," Malia said.

Reading festive stories to the children, Michelle Obama and her daughters were keeping up a tradition of visiting with sick kids during the Christmas season started by Bess Truman, former president Harry Truman's wife.



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