Elizabeth Lauten, critic of Sasha and Malia Obama, resigns

President Barack Obama, joined by his miniskirt-clad daughters Malia, right, and Sasha, center, speaks during the presidential turkey pardoning ceremony, an annual Thanksgiving tradition.
(Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

The mini-uproar GOP staffer Elizabeth Lauten created when she took to Facebook to criticize President Barack Obama’s daughters has led to Lauten’s resignation from her position as communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.).

Lauten lambasted the girls for their short skirts and bored facial expressions during the president’s annual “turkey pardoning” ceremony at the White House last week. Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13, needed to “dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar,” Lauten wrote in her Facebook screed.

This makes me wonder if Lauten has been around many teenage girls recently. Or visited any bars, for that matter. A short skirt over tights paired with a sweater, as Malia wore, looks to me more like a typical teen school outfit than something to wear clubbing. As for Sasha, if I were her mother I would tell her: Your legs are going to get cold! And she would ignore me, because she is a teen and that’s what teens do. But I wouldn’t say you look slutty -- because she doesn’t.


Lauten apologized for her comments on Saturday, after an eruption of social media commentary accusing her of cyberbullying the two teens. Not to mention violating the Washington taboo about criticizing the children of a president. Especially when those children are younger than 18.

On Monday, Lauten told NBC News she is resigning.

But the incident raises lots of questions, of course. Do either of the girls look inappropriate for a “turkey pardoning” ceremony? What’s the dress code for a “turkey pardoning,” anyway?

And should a political staffer avoid fashion criticism? The answer to that one seems obvious.