Oct. 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM ET
The 24-hour news cycle may be obsessed with the 2012 election, but the first children have other things on their mind. In a roundtable discussion Tuesday, Michelle Obama revealed that daughters Sasha and Malia are "far removed" from this year's political contest.
"They are so far removed from this world," Michelle Obama said Tuesday. "They don't ask about the election. They don't care."
Case in point: Number one on 11-year-old Sasha's list of priorities this week was a doggie play date Monday for her friends' pooches and Bo.
"This has been a goal of Sasha's for quite some time because she’s really feeling on top of everything else I have to worry about, that Bo doesn’t have enough dog interaction," Mrs. Obama told a small group of reporters in an event space at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds, where she was set to make a rally speech to supporters. "So this is what I was focused on. Doggie treats. We had about five dogs over on the South Lawn. That’s what they’re concerned about. Dance this weekend, big science test, homecoming is coming up, those are the things they’re really focused on. They’re just not connected."
One sign of the normalcy the first couple strives to maintain: Malia, 14, and Sasha, still haven't developed a "focused poker face" for use when their dad is speaking and the camera is trained on them.
The president only has one request for his daughters at big events. "On convention night, when we were backstage, the one thing he was saying, 'Just look like you're listening,'" Mrs. Obama said. "'That's all I want.' They don't know how to exude. And they're not thinking about needing to exude."
The first lady has a hard time keeping it together herself, like during last week's debate. Remember Olympic gymnast's Aly Raisman's parents who could barely contain themselves in the stands? "That's how I feel," Obama said. "But you can't gesture, yell 'Go baby! Yes! You have that one!' You can't do anything. They lecture you, they intimidate the hell out of you. So you're just there, I'm squeezing my hand, and trying to make sure I'm paying attention, too.
"It's watching your loved one perform on a tightrope," she said. "And we have two more."
Nerves were frayed during that five-dog play date Monday, too.
"Every parent was worried about their dogs," she said. "So everybody was on edge. These are all mothers that I know, so they’d been to the White House before, but we were like, I hadn’t been more nervous."
There was only one poop left on the South Lawn, and some minor damage to the flowers around the fountain.
"You could see all the mothers kind of go, phew," she said.