Barack Obama’s clever parenting to prevent his daughters from getting tattoos is getting press because it’s a fun story, but I think there is a reasonable argument that it also illustrates the problem with his Presidency, as follows:
The President’s plan for keeping his daughters from getting tattoos is getting “family tattoos” and showing them off on Youtube. This is obviously mortifying to any teenager – if they care about the negative consequence. Obviously the President’s daughters care, because they have been raised by loving parents, but I can think of all sorts of teenagers who would say “shyeah, whatever, Dad” and go ahead and get the tattoo anyway. Or, alternately, up the ante and play tattoo chicken by getting, say, a facial tattoo and daring their parents to try and match that when there are real social consequences to them for doing so.
In essence, the President’s strategy is predicated on his “opponents” giving a damn about the greater common good. I am sure that all readers can quickly reach the parallels inherent in this strategy with Obama’s negotiation tactics – at least during his first term – with the GOP.