Barack Obama on dropping Malia off at Harvard: ‘It was a little bit like open-heart surgery’

Barack and Malia Obama
President Barack Obama and his daughter Malia in 2016. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo/File

During a Beau Biden Foundation event in Delaware on Monday, former President Barack Obama shared his heartfelt feelings about dropping off his daughter, Malia, at college. The oldest daughter of the former president and Michelle Obama is currently a freshman at Harvard University after taking a gap year.

“For those of us who have daughters, it just happens fast,” Obama said in a video posted by WDEL, a local news station in Delware. “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.”

“I was proud that I did not cry in front of her,” he added. “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.”

Malia Obama quietly moved into her Harvard dorm while the rest of Boston was captivated by the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.


Her father said the experience 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.”

The Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children was started by the Biden family after former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer in 2015.


Watch the full video of Obama’s remarks about Malia on the WDEL website.