Barack Obama spoke out this week to say that one of his biggest successes as president actually had nothing to do with leading the country. Instead, he believes raising “great” daughters in the White House was one of the best things he did as president.

“My political success happened late… At 40, I had just lost a congressional race, maxed out on my credit cards. I’m going to the grocery store with Malia in tow,” Obama told late night host Stephen Colbert. “… We had lived a normal, middle class life, with student loans, washing your own car, waiting for luggage at the airport coming back from a vacation. We then get kind of shot out of a canon, but you’re formed by that point.”

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He added that living a middle class life with his wife Michelle and their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, allowed them to take “the outsized fame with a grain of salt” once they moved into the White House in 2009. Obama added that having his mother-in-law Marian Robinson around helped to keep them all humble.

“It also helped to have my mother-in-law around, who is the least pretentious person I know. She’s down to earth and she doesn’t understand all the fuss. She was great to have around, also, with the girls,” Obama said. “… Maybe one of my greatest successes, Michelle’s greatest successes, in those eight years was raising these great girls, who don’t have an attitude, don’t feel entitled.”

“But part of it is because my mother-in-law, if she saw them acting bratty, [she’d say,] ‘You guys haven’t done anything. Why are you acting special? You’re just here for the ride.’ And they’d suddenly go, ‘You’re right, Grandma,'” Obama recalled. “She was a huge blessing.”

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While promoting his new memoir “A Promised Land,” Obama has been heaping praise on both Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19. He also talked about how proud he was of the two of them for participating in racial protests over the death of George Floyd over the summer.

“Malia and Sasha found their own ways to get involved with the demonstrations and activism that you saw with young people this summer, without any prompting from Michelle and myself, on their own initiative,” Obama said. “… I could not have been prouder of them.”

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This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.

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