WASHINGTON--President Obama and First Lady Michelle have asked the press to not report much on daughters Malia and Sasha. Then Obama goes and puts an illustration of his girls on the cover of his new kids book, out in November, even titling it "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters." White House Press Secretary was asked on Wednesday if Obama was contradicting his request to give his girls their space.
Q Robert, on the President's upcoming book, you urge the press corps not to write about the First Family, particularly the President's daughters, to keep them out of the public spotlight. But they're central to this book project. And I'm wondering if you see a contradiction in that.
MR. GIBBS: Well, look, I think our encouragement is to keep their private lives private. I think that if you read the book, it's, I think the President would tell you, an inspirational book about the country they live in and about their ability and the ability for children throughout this country to dream, as the President talked about yesterday, to dream big and accomplish whatever they want to.
I think the President and the First Lady would be the first to underscore that you all have done a great job in keeping the lives of two individuals, quite frankly, that really weren't as involved in making a decision about running for office and moving to Washington -- allow them to live as normal a life -- a set of lives as they can. And I will say, having known each of those two children for seven or so years, it is remarkable; I think it's a great testament to the stability of what the First Lady has provided each of them in creating an environment of normalcy even amidst the White House.
Q Do you know if they'll be involved in marketing the book at all?
MR. GIBBS: No, I do not believe they're -- they will not be involved in that and I don't anticipate that the President will be heavily involved in that at all.