By Peter Wallsten and Faye Fiore, Chicago Tribune

 


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Barack Obama American flag SCIn the short time Americans have come to know their new first family, they’ve learned that the president doesn’t want a puppy sleeping on his bed, the girls hate green veggies but at least one loves peanut butter, and the first lady believes her husband should keep out of her closet.

Like a reality show set on the glorified soundstage at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the details of one family’s life have captivated the country — if not the world — making the Obamas seem within reach, an ordinary family that just happens to be living an extraordinary existence.

These glimpses into President Barack Obama’s household are far from spontaneous. Instead, they are part of a careful strategy that has helped bolster the new president’s popularity and political clout — even as he promotes some economic policies, such as bailouts for banks and automakers, that lack broad appeal.


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