Last night’s presidential debate was eye-opening for so many reasons. Most Democratic supporters didn’t expect such a strong showing from Romney. Heck, I don’t think most Republicans expected their recently gaffe-prone nominee to hit the stage, guns blazing, ready to pepper the president with facts and figures about his four years in office. But the moment that surprised me most was at the very end of the debate, when the political families joined the candidates on stage.
Romney was greeted by his wife, Ann, a few of his sons and their significant others, and some grandchildren–totaling seven supporters. We all know that the former governor has a big family and he made a big show of it. Meanwhile, at the other end of the stage, Obama was congratulated by Michelle. Just Michelle. Seven versus one? Not a balanced ratio, not even close.
While the big family farewell at the end of the night isn’t nearly as important as what was discussed during the debate, I can’t help but wonder why the Obama girls weren’t there to take the stage with their parents. Why didn’t Barack and Michelle have their daughters tag along for the educational experience? Sure, a Wednesday night at the University of Denver would mean a sluggish and difficult Thursday at school back on the East Coast, but wouldn’t it be worth it? After all, Dad hadn’t debated in years and this was one of his most important nights during the election. I think that Sasha and Malia could have learned from seeing their pop in action–and I think that Obama could have benefited from having the support of his three best girls.
Whitney C. Harris is Deputy Editor of New York Family. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org