“I was proud that I did not cry in front of her,” Obama joked. “But on the way back, the Secret Service was off, looking straight ahead, pretending they weren’t hearing me as I sniffled and blew my nose. It was rough.”
Washington (CNN) – Former President Barack Obama revealed Monday night how emotional it was to say goodbye to his eldest daughter, Malia, when she went away to college this fall.
“For those of us who have daughters, it just happens fast. I dropped off Malia at college, and I was saying to Joe and Jill (Biden) that it was a little bit like open-heart surgery,” Obama said in remarks at an event for the Beau Biden Foundation, according to video posted by WDEL radio.
Malia started her undergraduate career at Harvard University after a taking a gap year following her high school graduation. The former president and first lady were spotted helping her move into her dorm at the end of August.
Obama said the moment was “a reminder that, at the end of our lives, whatever else we’ve accomplished, the things that we’ll remember are the joys that our children — and hopefully way later, our grandchildren — bring us.”
“It is proper and right that somebody as thoughtful and genuine and strong as Beau made it one of his missions that every child has protection,” Obama said.
“Mr. President, you’ve been a great friend. Everybody, I think what they miss most is our memes,” Biden joked. “Mr. President, I can’t surprise you by giving you a medal of freedom, but I can give you a group of people who think you brought a lot of freedom to this country.”