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Published: September 03, 2015
Description: While on a tour of Alaska, President Barack Obama used a selfie stick to take pictures of himself. This letter that Obama sent to his daughters Malia and Sasha reveals why he used a selfie stick — he wants for them to think he’s a cool dad.
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President Obama and his selfie stick, just chillin’ like cool people do.

While on a tour of Alaska in an effort to bring attention to U.S. climate change policy, President Barack Obama used a selfie stick to take pictures of himself in the Alaskan wilderness. Why is Obama using a selfie stick when he is followed by press photographers or could presumably ask a staffer to take his picture? This letter that Obama sent to his daughters Malia and Sasha reveals why — he wants for them to think he’s a cool dad.


Dear Malia and Sasha,

As you know, I have recently been on a business trip to Alaska to push forward my climate-change policy. The folks here are nice. I met some bears and a guy named Bear. I caught a salmon with my bare hands, and that salmon sprayed semen on my shoes. I pity the White House intern who had to deal with that mess!

But the highlight of my trip was that I got to use a selfie stick. I am writing you to let you know that I am a cool dad, and I am hip to the technologies of today.

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Me and some of the nice Alaskan folks.
Let me be clear, I took this with my selfie stick.

Now, let me be clear. I know you two don’t often think of me as a cool guy. I embarrassed you at the turkey pardoning last year. I still use a BlackBerry, or as Malia calls it, my “dinosaur.” I wear dad jeans. Let’s face it, I wear dad everything. You girls would have a field day making fun of this jacket I’m wearing if you were here in Alaska. But I feel like something has shifted with my use of this selfie stick.

Today, I became the first American president to use a selfie stick. Together, the good folks of Alaska and I made history. I think that’s pretty great for the American people, and it’s also pretty great for me, because it shows both of you that I am cool.

Before I used a selfie stick, I asked my staff to brief me on the implications of using one. From that, I learned that a lot of folks don’t like selfie sticks. They have a tendency to poke people in the face. They reinforce our narcissistic culture. Make no mistake, I took these issues into deep consideration, as it seems that selfie sticks are a bipartisan issue.

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Me from a slightly different angle.
I also took this with my selfie stick.

But, look, the notion that selfie sticks are bad is wrong. They serve a purpose: to take a picture of yourself when your arm isn’t long enough and no one else will take the picture for you. How else would I get myself and all this Alaskan wildlife into one photo? Sure, I could have just asked the press for a copy of a photo or one of my hundred of staffers to take a photo. But it wouldn’t be the same. The photo would be too professional, when I wanted something authentic. It’s plain common sense.

Moving forward, I will be transitioning to using more selfie sticks. It’s the right thing to do. When your mom and I go out to a fancy dinner and Broadway show on our one night out a year, you can bet that I’ll be sending you two a text with a photo that I took using a selfie stick. When we all go on family vacation to Hawaii next summer, I will snap a pic using my selfie stick while we’re out on a boat. Malia, you can even post that pic on Instagram if you like, with #prezselfiestick or #obamaselfiestick or some other cool hashtag.

Amaaaazing grace. How sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like meeeeee …

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I’m not in this one, but I took it with my selfie stick.
The American people should know that you can also use selfie sticks to take pictures that are not selfies.

Love,
Barack Obama
Your extremely cool, hip, technology-savvy dad

P.S. So do you guys think I’m cool now?

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