Barack Obama’s Daughters Gave Him a Secret Identity To Disguise Him After the 2004 DNC Brought Him Overnight Fame

President Barack Obama recently released his new book, A Promised Land, and it’s full of juicy information. In the book, he details many moments in his life before, during, and after his time as President. 

One of the more interesting stories in the book is his account of how quickly his life changed after becoming a national political figure. In fact, the attention became so overwhelming that his daughters decided to give him a secret identity to remain anonymous. 

Barack Obama gained overnight fame after the 2004 Democratic National Convention

Barack Obama
Barack Obama (2nd R) and First Lady Michelle Obama (R) with their daughters Malia (C) and Sasha (2nd L) | JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

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In the early 2000s, Obama was an up and coming Illinois senator with a ton of potential. He had begun attracting attention due to his charisma, intellect, and thoughtful analysis of American political policy, but was still relatively unknown. However, everything changed in 2004.

After delivering an iconic speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, people began to take notice of Obama. Immediately after the DNC, Obama became a national figure, subsequently being cast into overnight fame.

Barack Obama’s kids gave him a secret identity to help disguise him

Although Obama had become a household name, it took him a while to realize how popular he’d become. It wasn’t until he took a trip to the zoo with his kids that he realized he was no longer able to maintain public anonymity. Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, decided to help their dad by giving him a secret identity. 

During a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Obama detailed his daughters’ efforts to help him remain incognito. 

“We get mobbed, we have to leave the zoo, I’m kind of depressed about the whole thing,” Obama said. “And Malia, … she says ‘Dad, you need an alias.’ And Sasha’s like, ‘What’s an alias?’ It’s like, ‘Well, it’s like a fake name you use so you disguise your identity.’ She said, ‘So it should be like, Johnny McJohn-John.’”

Obama wasn’t immediately sold on the idea, but his daughter had more thoughts on what he could do.

“She said, ‘But the problem is, you also have to disguise your voice because it’s too distinctive. … You talk really slow, you need to speed up how you talk and use a higher voice,’” Obama added.

Michelle Obama roasted Barack Obama in front of the kids

When Obama took the kids home to discuss the idea with his wife, Michelle, things got ugly. She was open to the concept of Obama having an alias, but had a recommendation of her own; Michelle saw the family conversation as the perfect opportunity to take a dig at her husband. 

 “So she had a whole plan, Sasha agreed to the plan, we get home, they explained the plan to Michelle,” Obama said. “Michelle says, ‘Hun, you know, the only what that daddy’s gonna disguise himself is if he has surgery to pin back his ears.’ Which I found somewhat offensive but… I’m generally the brunt of jokes at the house.”

Thankfully, Obama decided not to go forward with either of his family’s recommendations. Furthermore, his fame only increased, as he ended up becoming the 44th President of the United States.