First Daughters under the microscope

Remy Farkas and Kaylan Coke

Elizabeth Lauten, a GOP staffer for Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher, can add the word “former” to her title after criticizing the dress and demeanor of the first daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama, in a Facebook post.

“Rise to the occasion.  Act like being in the White House matters to you.  Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar.  And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events,” Lauten wrote following the girls’ appearance at the annual White House turkey pardoning on November 26, 2014.

Out of respect for the privacy of first children, media outlets generally consider stories about them, off limits.  Lauten, however, is not a journalist, but rather a political operative who chose not to abide by the unwritten rules of covering the White House.

Social media outlets responded  swiftly and unanimously.  Lauten had crossed the line and calls for her resignation grew to a fever pitch.

“The comment was out of line,”  junior Chloe Feinstein said. “Just because their father is the President, the Obama daughters should not have an obligation to dress and act differently than any other teen.”

Lauten quickly deleted her original Facebook comments and posted an apology.   She reported that she had “quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager” and that “after many hours of prayer, talking to my parents, and re-reading my words online I can see more clearly just how hurtful my words were.”

Though she went on to apologize and promised “to learn and grow” from the experience it was too late.  Rep. Fincher’s office accepted Lauten’s resignation on December 1, 2014 four days after her original critique of the young ladies.

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