Despite efforts to hide his daughters from the media in the past, President Barack Obama has had a change of heart when it comes to using 11-year-old Sasha and 13-year-old Malia in campaign ads.
According to the State, the Obama girls have been making more public appearances while trailing their father in his bid for re-election, first in a Father's Day video and now an ad campaign in seven battleground states. But is the President looking to be liked?
Director of Public Policy Polling Tom Jensen said Obama is using his daughters strategically as part of his master plan to up the ante in likability.
Children have a kind of humanizing impact, and that's really what Obama needs, Jensen told the State.
Jensen said the Obama girls are an easy way to boost popularity and maintain a family man image.
They're the most popular unit of the family, Jensen said, noting Obama's daughters had a 54 percent favorability rating in 2009. Who doesn't like the girls?
Jensen added that many who disapprove of Obama's public policy issues or his progress thus far in his presidency could be swayed by the image of family.
Voters feel like things haven't changed as much as they wanted. The economy still is not where they wanted it to be. He needs people to vote more on whether they like him or not, regardless of his record of accomplishment.
He explains that many of those on the fence in terms of voting could potentially vote in favor of the incumbent if he portrays a more human side, just like the rest of Americans with families.
With that small swath of swing voters that everyone wants, if something gets people to think about Obama the man, as opposed to Obama the guardian of the economy, he's in better shape, Jensen said.
The move to include Malia and Sasha Obama in campaign ads is a stray from previous months when principal deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the President and First Lady made shielding their daughters from the glare of the media spotlight a high priority.
In the past, many news outlets were previously discouraged from running stories about the Obama girls unless accompanied by their parents for a public event or appearance, like in March when Malia Obama vacationed in Mexico for spring break. Earnest said in times like those, the Obamas were pleased by the respect that media, by and large, has shown for their daughters' privacy.
Now it appears Obama is using his daughters as an aid for re-election, like when he directly cited the girls' names when declaring his support for gay marriage in May.
You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, he said. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we're talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. It doesn't make sense to them and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.