As we endure the last 65 days of an American presidency that has continually undermined the dignity of the office and a current occupant of the White House who refuses to effectively lead or leave, it’s only natural to get wistful for days past. While plenty of past presidents have been flawed (who isn’t?), prior to 2016, the office still represented some semblance of integrity and adulthood, along with at least a general compassion for the people of America.
On Tuesday, one of the more beloved to hold the office, former President Barack Obama will release A Promised Land, the first of two memoirs chronicling his time in the White. Reminding us that great leadership starts at home, Obama dedicated the book to our forever first lady—and his—Michelle; as well as his daughters, 22-year-old Malia and 19-year-old Sasha.
“To Michelle—my love and life’s partner; and Malia and Sasha—whose dazzling light makes everything brighter,” reads the dedication page, which President Obama showed off Saturday in an Instagram post. Explaining why fatherhood has been the most important role of his life, he wrote the following caption:
The fact that my own father was largely absent from my childhood helped shape my ideas about the kind of father I intended to be. When Malia was born, I made a promise to myself that my kids would know me, that they’d grow up feeling my love keenly and consistently, knowing that I’d always put them first. While serving as President, I made sure to have dinner with Michelle, Sasha, and Malia every evening by 6:30. We’d eat some good meals and catch up on our days. That was one of the best parts of living above the store, as I sometimes called it. Seeing them grow up into the intelligent, strong, and compassionate young women they’ve become has been the greatest joy of my life. I’m reminded constantly that there’s no place in the world I’d rather be than with Miche and our girls—and it’s why I’ve dedicated my memoir to them.
We can only imagine what a presidential memoir from Trump would look like (hopefully, a jailhouse diary), but we suspect that if he were to dedicate it to anyone, it’d be himself. In meantime, we can enjoy the thoughts of a real president when A Promised Land debuts on Tuesday, Nov. 17—and look forward to the promise of a new presidency on Wednesday, Jan. 21.