The Torture of FLOTUS Pool Reports


It’s a dirty job, full of hugs, tickles, hip shaking and “The Cat in the Hat.” And today, WaPo‘s Krissah Thompson is tasked with writing the FLOTUS Pool Report from a community center in South Africa that reads like a bad children’s book. It’s not poor writing, mind you. The content is what is hard to ingest. We’ve highlighted the more offensive lines.

“Two little girls along with a handful of volunteers from the school escorted Obama into the center, a colorful outdoor area with a playground and grassy area. Obama greeted the elementary-aged children waiting in three lines for her with tickles and hugs. Twenty-five children then sang three or four songs to Obama and her daughters, welcoming them to the center. Obama encouraged her daughters to join in the songs, and waved her arms in the air along with the children. The songs included a welcome song, a song about the alphabet and a song about seasons. The children then marched over to a grassy area in front of a colorful mural of butterflies and flowers. Obama and her family marched along grabbing hands with the children and singing “we are marching in the light of God.” The children sat on the grass and Obama and her daughters sat in three plastic blue chairs. According to your pool and the transcript provided by the White House, Obama said: “So we brought a gift.  We brought you lots of books, some of my favorite books, some of the President’s favorite books, some of Malia and Sasha’s favorite books.  But we wanted to read one of our favorite books.

“This is called “The Cat in the Hat.”  Do you want to hold it up? “The Cat in the Hat.”  I used to read this book to Malia and Sasha all the time when they were little.  I don’t know if they remember.  But we’re — all three of us are going to read it. It’s about a little boy and a little girl who are home all day by themselves, and it was raining outside, and they were very bored, and they got a visitor that wasn’t invited.  And he caused a lot of interesting stuff to go on.
Okay, you ready?  Malia, take it away.

The First Lady, Malia and Sasha read ‘The Cat in the Hat’ with verve and enthusiasm. The 25 children sat silently. An aide said later that the Obamas had donated 200 books to the center. Following the reading, the same children who live in the nearby township, lead Obama, her daughters, mother and niece and nephew in a round of games that included hip shaking, toe touching and hugs. (Marian Robinson, Obama’s mother participated. Obama told onlookers “grandma” deserved a round of applause.) Robinson took the applause and bowed. At a little after 4 pm local time the 45 minute visit concluded.”