“I know it sounds corny, but last night was actually one of those times where being in a Holiday Inn in Butte without a lot of fanfare. . . . I don’t know whether [daughter Malia] was just telling us what we wanted to hear, but I can tell you from my perspective it was one of the best times I’ve had in a long time.”

Sen. Barak Obama, as quoted in the Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times staff writer Peter Nicholas documented a little of the human side we often lose track of in following the piece Obama shows signs of being trail-weary:

BUTTE, MONT. — He hasn’t had a vacation for months. He sees his family little more than once a week. And now as the presumed Democratic nominee for president, he can’t go anywhere without being trailed by a full crew of journalists.

Reaching his limit, Barack Obama wriggled free of the campaign’s fetters on July 4. Caught in Montana on his daughter Malia’s 10th birthday, he improvised a party.

At the Holiday Inn Express in Butte, a city known for its copper mines and bordellos of old, Obama and family ordered a cake. They loaded an iPod with Malia’s favorite songs and danced and sang. Obama later came close to tears, recalling that Malia told him “it was the best birthday she’d ever had.”

I don’t know exactly why this strikes me as significant, but it does. I’m sure it has something to do with how so many political issues have so much to do with future generations, and if one has children, these youth are often one’s personal focal point for thinking about the future of our city, state (or province), country, and world.

I imagine Sen. Obama’s thoughts about what America should look like during a Obama presidency has a lot to with what kind of world he wants his children Sasha and Malia to live in as adults.

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen