July 7th, 2009
01:01 PM ET

Obama girls take Russia by storm

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/07/art.sashamalia0707.gi.jpg caption="Sasha Obama wandered into her parent's bed early Tuesday morning to have a chat with her parents."]

Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

An unexpected visitor rushed into the bedroom of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, but the Secret Service wasn't worried about a security breach.

The visitor was 8-year-old Sasha Malia, who's touring Russia along with her older sister Malia. The younger girl could not contain her excitement about Dad's fifth foreign trip in office so she decided to wake her parents to tell them about it, the President cheerfully recounted in a CNN interview.

"Sasha this morning around 4am just wandered into our bed and plopped down and started chatting," Obama said in the interview a few hours later. "That was sort of a highlight, although I'm a little groggy now as a consequence."

Both Obama daughters are along for the ride this time around because school is out of session back in the Washington, D.C., area so they can travel overseas on weekdays without missing classes. On an earlier Presidential visit to France, Sasha and Malia showed up in Paris on a weekend after school was done for the week.

Asked if having his daughters joining his wife on a high-profile helps take the edge off the tough diplomatic negotiations, Obama told CNN it's fantastic to have his girls "being able to see the world and then report back to us on what they are seeing" on the trip, which included the daughters getting to check out the Kremlin.

"You know it makes a huge difference," said the President. "The girls are just a joy. And then Michelle just, she's always - she's a star at home and abroad."

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Sue Ford

    Too bad hypocrite Obama not cutting back like he expects everyone else to do!

    July 7, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    Malia and Sasha will always remember these years as some of the best – they are learning so much being able to accompany their Father on a lot of his trips; its not many their age that can boast a trip to Russia and the high halls of power there. What an enrichment to their education.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:10 pm |
  3. Kathryn, Indianapolis

    I hope these girls write a book. Love Malia's hair. Refreshing story – tired of hearing about MJ. Many other public figures more deserving have received less honor.

    July 7, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  4. Carol B. in MD

    Hello Ed, It sound like the girls are learning about everything from nesting dolls to daschas.Did the Obama's see the Hermitage yet? Hopefully they will, although the main reason for the trip is to improve diplomatic relations. It would be wonderful to go there sometime, however, for those living in the D.C. vicinity or visiting, there's always the vast collection of Russian artifacts at Hillwood. Some of these are the poignant history and collection from the murdered Romanov family – photos, religious icons, Faberge eggs and documents (some of which) foreshadow a tragic outcome. Take care & safe travels.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  5. Vernard Mercader

    The Russians think that Obama thinks they'll have a roaring cheer from a gigantic crowd with red carpet treatment. Little do they know He's actually expecting a cold welcome.

    July 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  6. Amber

    Awesome family, indeed! It's great that the girls can have these experiences. Their father benefitted from his travels as a youth.

    Seems to be some confused commentors here. This article is about the Obamas. There's plenty of other ones about MJ.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  7. Lakan

    so cute:D

    July 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  8. Anthony Ching

    How cute. Fortunate for the girls to travel with mom and dad–getting a taste of life outside of Chicago, DC.

    July 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  9. Mike in NYC

    I'm not sure what Henry means by "taking Russia by storm." Most ordinary Russians appear to be underwhelmed by this crew.

    And the Great One designating his wife a "star." That's news, I tell you.


    July 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  10. Cynthia D. Robinson

    I have seen many major events in my era, such as the death of the Kennedys, Dr. King, but was to young to understand the impact of those lost. Princess Diana, Steve Erwin, Marvin Kaye deaths that move me to the brink of tears. I hearing so many comments as to why , beside his music that MICHEAL is such a worldwide icon. While watching his last appearance at his memorial, I became so overwhelmed with emotions . Then It hit me Micheal is and was family, Family that is what it is all about

    July 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  11. Jewell Stewart

    When my granddaughter, Angel was first learning how to talk, and she would hear any of Michael Jackson’s music on TV or radio; she would yell: “Mighty Jackson mommy, Mighty Jackson”. In retrospect, how fitting was that?

    July 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  12. Kayla

    I think its wonderful that the obama girls are excited about their to Russia. They will see and learn a lot, its a life changing trip.

    July 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm |