Sasha Obama did not attend father's final speech as US president due to exam

While Michelle Obama and Malia were there to hear his emotional farewell speech, his youngest daughter was nowhere to be seen

Maya Oppenheim
Wednesday 11 January 2017 11:23
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Obama pays emotional tribute to his daughters - but Sasha wasn't allowed to attend

Barack Obama clutched his handkerchief as he delivered his final address as President in his Chicago hometown: the very place he launched his campaign a decade ago.

But while the world witnessed the outgoing President warn of the dangers of anti-immigrant sentiment, economic inequality and taking democracy for granted, there was a notable absence from the stage.

Michelle Obama and their daughter Malia were there to hear his emotional farewell speech but his youngest daughter Sasha was nowhere to be seen.

This was quickly picked up on and a “Where Is Sasha” hashtag trended on Twitter. People speculated about all sorts of hypothetical things the 15-year-old could be doing, from “setting Home Alone traps for Trump” to physically obstructing the incoming President from entering the White House.

In reality, the reason was as mundane as her school not letting her attend her father’s final speech as US president because she had an exam the following morning.

Mark Knoller, CBS News White House Correspondent, said a White House official informed him she stayed in Washington.

“Where was Sasha? WH Official says she stayed back in DC tonight because she has an exam at school tomorrow morning,” Knoller said.

The outgoing First Lady put her arm around her 18-year-old daughter Malia as her husband delivered his speech.

“Malia,” Mr Obama said, gesturing to his eldest daughter, "And Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women.”

”You are smart and you are beautiful but more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful - and you are full of passion. And bore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily,” he continued. “Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.”

Sasha is a student at Sidwell Friends, a private school in Washington which was attended by Chelsea Clinton, Tricia Nixon Cox, and Archibald Roosevelt. Sasha was the youngest child to live in the White House since John F Kennedy entered it as a young boy in 1961.

Barack Obama pays tearful tribute to wife Michelle in farewell address

Mr Obama recently had a hopeful message for his daughters after they witnessed Mr Trump’s shock win and the defeat of the first female presidential candidate. He reminded them to remain positive and fight for people, encouraging them not to worry about an “apocalypse” but focus on moving forward.

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