By Erik Wasson
With myriad scandals and intense interest in the U.S. role in the Syrian civil war swirling, President Obama took time out on Saturday to reflect on fatherhood.
Obama said that of all his accomplishments, he will look back most on his time spent with his family when his presidency is over.
“When I look back on my life, I won’t be thinking about any particular legislation I passed or policy I promoted. I’ll be thinking about Michelle, and the journey we’ve been on together. I’ll be thinking about Sasha’s dance recitals and Malia’s tennis matches – about the conversations we’ve had and the quiet moments we’ve shared,” Obama said.
Obama noted that he never knew his own father and said, “I still wish I had a dad who was not only around, but involved.”
He said that every day he strives to provide “what my father was not for my mother and me."
“Being a good parent – whether you’re gay or straight; a foster parent or a grandparent – isn’t easy. It demands your constant attention, frequent sacrifice, and a healthy dose of patience. And nobody’s perfect. To this day, I’m still figuring out how to be a better husband to my wife and father to my kids,” Obama said.
The president said that he is working to encourage marriage and strong families.
“We should reform our child support laws to get more men working and engaged with their children. And my administration will continue to work with the faith and other community organizations, as well as businesses, on a campaign to encourage strong parenting and fatherhood,” he said.
Obama’s moment to reflect on fatherhood comes as Congress is investigating the extent to which the Internal Revenue Service harassed conservative groups, the extent to which the National Security Agency obtained Internet and phone records, the extent to which the Justice Department snooped on reporters, and whether the administration covered up the terrorist attack on the diplomatic in Benghazi, Libya.
The respite also comes as the administration has decided to start arming the Syrian rebels in the face of new analysis that reveals the Syrian regime gassed it own citizens, crossing a “red line” that Obama himself announced.