Congressional aide to Obama daughters: show “a little class,” don’t dress like you’re at a bar

Elizabeth Lauten is the communications director for Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN).  Ms. Lauten made her first appearance on the blog a few months ago, when, while using her boss’ Twitter account, tweeted that she loved “shagging” – in reference to a song.  Well, Ms. Lauten is back, and for another very bad (and much more offensive) reason.

Before Thanksgiving, the President appeared at a press conference in which he participated in the annual tradition of pardoning two turkeys. As the President noted, the ceremony was “a little puzzling,” and certainly one of the stranger Presidential duties.  Joining the President at the press conference were his daughters, Maila (16) and Sasha (13).  And they were not impressed:

Sasha Malia boredSome commenters made tongue in cheek references to how bored the girls looked, but no one really gave it a second thought – that is, until Elizabeth Lauten stepped in, and launched into this screed on her personal Facebook page:


Elizabeth Lauten attacks Obama daughters

As you can imagine, this did not go over well.  Attacking teenage girls who happen to be the daughters of the President of the United States is still – thankfully – considered out of bounds. Ms. Lauten was attacked repeatedly on her own Facebook page, and the incident spawned national media attention.

To her credit, Ms. Lauten backed down an apologized:

Elizabeth Lauten apology

I have to say, I’ve seen a lot of social media apologies, and this is a pretty good one.  She shows empathy by putting herself in the shoes of the teenagers (and really, who DIDN’T look bored when being dragged to a parent’s business event as a kid), apologized, and pledged to grow from the experience.  It seems sincere, though I guess time will tell whether or not that is the case.

There are a few lessons here.  First, Ms. Lauten really needs to be more careful, because that’s the second time that she has dragged her boss into national spotlight for something stupid she has done on social media.  If I’m her boss, I’m upset and nervous about allowing my communications to be managed by her.  Second, speaking more broadly, don’t attack the kids of Presidents.  Just don’t.  It’s classless and dumb.  For all of the attacks being launched at the President, no one wants to see his children be attacked.  I cannot fathom what Ms. Lauten was thinking here, except that maybe she was so blinded by her dislike of the President that she was willing to use anything to attack him – even his own daughters.

UPDATE: Lauten has resigned http://bit.ly/1B5sFYG

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