Dear Sasha and Malia,

Here is a story you might find interesting given the latest unprovoked (and undeserved) attack on you by Elizabeth Lauten, who I, by the way, had never heard of before.

When my father was president there was an evening event in Los Angeles for Queen Elizabeth, hosted by my parents. The dress was “cocktail attire” which, to my thinking, is a somewhat broad category. There was a clothing line called Laize Adzer then and it was quite popular and fashionable — a sort of high-end peasanty look that required all the pieces — belt, scarf, etc. — to look like the magazine ads. I splurged on one of the dressier outfits and wore it to this event. In the broad category of cocktail attire, there was indeed a broad spectrum of fashion statements there. One woman was dressed sort of like a flapper. Another looked almost slutty, in a poofy sort of way. But I was singled out by a journalist who wrote the next day: “There were 150 people there. 149 of them were properly dressed. Patti Davis…” I can’t even recall the rest of the assault, only that there was one.

As First Daughters, you can’t win. There will always be bitchy people sitting at their keyboards, seething with anger at their own lives, ready to take it out on you. But in this case, I think you did win. The internet exploded with rage at Elizabeth Lauten and in defense of you. People have suggested she should lose her job, be exiled to a desert island, and other harsh recommendations that I won’t print here. Many have pointed out how appropriate you both looked as the teenagers you are — “normal” is what a few have said.

And while there isn’t anything normal about the life you are living right now, you still can be. An adult woman attacking you the way she did is despicable. Take it for what it is and be glad you are the smart and well-adjusted girls you are. And if you ever see Elizabeth Lauten sitting at a bar dressed like the teenager she isn’t…just walk past and resist the temptation to say something snarky to her. Trust me, you’re light years ahead of her.



40 Responses to DEAR SASHA AND MALIA

  1. Deborah Frost says:

    Right on point! Beautiful. Thank you.

  2. Carol Dudley says:

    I agree with Debra Frost.

  3. brad berger says:

    Great story I sent the FOTUS my and have great confidence they know how to act properly and they do.

  4. patrick hegarty says:

    Thanks for writing this Patti…I was so offended by that attack on the girls..I hope they get a chance to read your kind words from someone who knows what it’s like. I remember hearing them attack Chelsea and Amy Carter…also lot’s of attacks on your brother ..who was always able to stand his ground

  5. Karin Burnap Costa says:

    Well said. I hope they get to see this. Thank you for writing this letter.

  6. Jhill Perran says:

    Clap! Clap! Clap! Patti, and two snaps, with a high-five, “Yeah!” attached. You said it ALL~beautifully, directly, specifically and empathetically! “The First Daughters Club” is not one many of us understand, but most of us are smart enough to know what is and is NOT acceptable behavior, regardless of party!
    Thank you for sending such a nice vote of, “Don’t Pay ANY Attention to this,” from one who TRULY knows, Patti! I am quite certain that it will mean a lot to these two young ladies, and more-so as time goes on…
    Jhill Perran

  7. HD Grymes says:

    Eloquently stated. All of the Obama Women young and slightly Senior like me are the epitome of CLASS. Bright articulate Women that can hold their own on any front! My Mother always told me to consider the source and move on.
    Just let me give a scripture to Elizabeth Lauten..Proverbs 17:28. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his … words from a different angle, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.

  8. Darlene says:

    Thank you Patty for this letter. I love these two girls! l think they handle themselves quite well in every event. I’m sure they know how the public eye is so distorted against them. I couldn’t help thinking that the fuss this woman was making over their clothing. After all it was ONLY a Turkey Pardoning! Lol, some people…please.

  9. Angelia Fowler says:

    Thank you so much Patti, I feel sorry for that vile woman; I wanted to scratch her eyes out, but your letter made it better.

  10. Vid Raatior says:

    Thank you for those wise words to two very well mannered teenagers who have been bullied by a racist woman.

  11. Toni says:

    I wonder what your father would have done if someone did this to his daughter? Would there be fallout, or would he say it was the price of doing business in this crazy 24/7 news cycle world?

    I have always felt that the first kids should be off limits. They didn’t ask to be where they are there were brought along against their will. To say it is a “wonderful experience” for a teenager to live in a white jail, with guards and everyone looking at what she says, does and wears, as she matures is nuts. I felt for the Bush girls and I feel for the Obama girls even more since there is a race issue at play here as well.

    I did not vote for your Dad but saw him as a fellow Illinois kid who did well. :-). I don’t understand how people cannot separate the man from the office. I respect the Office of the President, I respect his family and I think all Americans should as well. I don’t have to vote for them or agree with them to treat the office and those living it with respect. Lots of people in this country have forgotten how to behave in civilized society.

    • marie says:

      Sorry about this bad experience. My experience with such frustrated women were not much encouraging and I am way less prettier and much older than these young ladies. That is real life, unfortunately. People are mean and this one is even mean to herself by throwing away her job. Racism is a pretty stupid thing. I know, I have been observing…

  12. anniebella says:

    Thank you Patti.

  13. Sandra Bender says:

    Your letter is a textbook example of “showing your classiness”. I hope that Elizabeth Lauten reads and learns. I do not worry about Sasha and Malia. They have the best teachers in the world.

  14. Peri Lyons says:

    So happy to have found your writing- you are so funny and charming! Very well said.
    Was just watching a movie my grandad wrote that your father was in: the movie was awful (sorry Grandad). But your father was so handsome and utterly delightful. (“Swing Your Lady”. Humphrey Bogart was in it as well .)

  15. Patricia D. says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for doing to eloquently what most of us, with our sense of justice completely violated, could not.

  16. Liz Mali says:

    Patti Davis, kudos to you for your kind and caring words to our current lovely First Daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama. When your father was president, I didn’t agree with his politics, but I wouldn’t have dreamed of saying anything critical about you. You were a lovely and classy First Daughter, too.

    One thing we all need to keep in mind, is that Lautin works for a scumbag right wing bigot named Stephen Fincher. He may have to fire her because of public pressure, but I am willing to bet that underneath, he is applauding Lautin’s hate-filled and outrageous rant.

  17. underthematrix (@underthematrix) says:

    Awesome. so very awesome 🙂

  18. […]   To read the entire letter wonderful Patti wrote to our First Daughters, head over to her website here!  You can follow us on social media at or on Facebook at: […]

  19. Norman Schwartz says:

    Patti, thank you for these kind words protecting these two extremely pleasent young teenagers. I found the comments on the right wing racist websites repugnant. The reaction to Ferguson by a large percentage of white Americans, (I’m white), and this racist incident shows there is more work to be done to bring America to its ideal.

  20. Cha says:

    Brilliant, Patti Davis.. Thank you so much!

  21. Chavel says:

    Well said…Thank You

  22. Melbourne says:


  23. Jayne says:

    I have never responded to comment boards but felt compelled here.
    YOU are such a class act to reach out with honesty and share your personal experience with the Obama girls.
    You’re impressive and demonstrate how social media can work the right way.
    You just got a fan, keep up the great work!

  24. Renee Comage says:

    THANK YOU Patti, for your kind words to these beautiful young ladies. I find absolutely nothing wrong with their dress attire, or the way they carry themselves as teenagers, and first daughters. Kids should be off limits to vile, cruel people. So very glad this Elizabeth Lauten is no longer employed in the political arena! Malia and Sasha, keep doing YOU!

  25. Jim Steele says:


  26. I don’t have a famous child, Ms. Davis, but I do have a “normal child” who will become a teen-ager next year. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your compassion and concern for all our children. Your words were brief, but your compassion spoke volumes. I look forward to reading and sharing your written work with my daughter (also a “Gracie”).

  27. M Gentry says:

    Ms. Patti, my eyes teared a little as I read your letter. Sasha and Malia look like any American teen you would encounter. Then I remembered that Princess Diana insisted on raising her boys as normal kids. And they turned out quite well – as normal guys as they can be in the haughty cocoon of British royalty. Thank you Ms Davis.

  28. Patricia Haynes says:

    Way to go Patti Davis and thank you for your letter to the girls. I found nothing inappropriate with their dress and/or attitudes~they’re teenagers. They were probably trying to slip away when someone pulled them into the press room because their Dad was about to pardon the turkey which they could care less. Abd they have heard all of Dad’s out of date jokes. Leave the kids alone~they are fine.

  29. Bravo Patti. What an incredibly thoughtful response to the First Daughters.

  30. Greg says:

    Patti, I did not vote for Obama nor would I but saw him as “the President” and will put up with him for 8 years. I don’t understand how people cannot separate the man from the office. I respect the Office of the President, I respect his wife and family and I think all Americans should as well. I didn’t have to vote for THEM or agree with THEM to treat the office and those living it with respect. His daughters did not ASK to be drug into this but we need to leave them out of the media all together.

  31. e.a.kennedy says:

    What a wonderful letter from a former First Kid to another.


    A very liberal Democrat.

  32. Jodi says:

    Ms. Davis,
    I think it was a beautiful gesture, and a heartfelt one, to write to the President’s daughters after this pretty awful incident. I agree with most normal people, that attacking the children, especially the ones who are not yet adults, and who have no defense, is classless and clueless. As someone who lived that kind of scrutiny, and who, I’m sure had many, many, more untoward incidents we will never know about, those comments will mean that much more to the girls.


  33. Juliann says:

    A class act just like your dad….He would be proud.

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