President-Elect Barack Obama has penned a letter to his daughters on the eve of his swearing in as the 44th President of the United States, thanking them for their support and apologizing for his time away.
“I know that you’ve both had a lot of fun these last two year on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn’t have let you have. But I also know that it hasn’t always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn’t make up for all the time we’ve been apart,” the incoming President wrote in the letter to be published in Parade on Sunday. “I know how much I’ve missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.”
As the President-Elect’s letter continued on, he noted how having children changed him from a man after success, to a man motivated by wanting to make the world better for his girls.
“I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours,” he wrote. “In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.”
Obama wrote of wanting to be able to give better opportunities to children of all backgrounds, and he thanked the military for their hard work to protect the nation. He also referenced his late grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, whom he said helped him “understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better — and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us.”
Obama ended his letter by praising his children.
“I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House,” he wrote, signing the letter, “Love, Dad.”