Malia Obama has been something of an enigma in recent years. When her father Barack Obama was President of the United States, he did his best to shield Malia and her younger sister Sasha from the paparazzi. Now that the Obamas are out of the White House, public sightings of Malia are relatively rare, and she seems quite focused on keeping her head down and achieving success on her own terms.
Every now and then, though, she helps others achieve their own success, and that includes Joe Biden. She was close with the Bidens when she lived in the White House and has remained close in the intervening years. Just what is Malia’s relationship with Joe Biden like, and why might she be the key to him winning re-election in 2024? Keep reading to find out!
The two families were very close when Barack Obama was president
Given their age gap, many people find it surprising that Malia Obama has kept her friendship with Joe Biden intact. However, it probably shouldn’t be that surprising…after all, the close relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden when they were, respectively, president and vice president led to many viral memes.
The general thrust of those memes was that Obama and Biden were less like political coworkers and more like friends who didn’t mind cutting up and having quite a bit of fun with one another. And while some of those memes were certainly played up for humor, one look at Obama and Biden smiling like mischievous schoolchildren tells you all you need to know about their relationship.
The Obamas fully supported Joe Biden’s run for president
Joe Biden may be president now, but he had to travel a long and very unpredictable road to the White House. Even before his election showdown with Donald Trump, for example, Biden had to navigate a crowded field of competitors, each of whom hoped to become the next Democratic candidate for president.
Obama ended up endorsing Biden for president, and his endorsement brought to mind his previous touching words about Biden during his presidential farewell speech in 2017. As Teen Vogue reports, Obama said that Biden had always been his first choice for vice president and that in this role, the older man had become a friend and even a brother. “Your friendship has been one of the great joys of our [the Obamas] life,” he said.
Apparently, Obama really meant it. Not only did Barack stay in Biden’s life, but it looks like Malia did as well.
Malia Obama bonded with Joe Biden’s granddaughter
One of the most concrete things we know about Malia’s relationship with Joe Biden is that she is on very good terms with the president’s granddaughter, Naomi Biden. This is evident from a selfie Naomi took in 2017 showing Malia and Sasha walking alongside Joe Biden.
Some cynically dismissed this photo as nothing more than a bit of PR for Biden himself. Others, however, saw this as a bonding opportunity between Malia, Sasha, and Naomi. Each of these girls understood what it was like to be related to some of the most powerful people in the world, so we imagine they had a lot to talk about!
Malia often hangs out with the Biden family
In case you were wondering, Malia Obama didn’t stop hanging out with the Bidens in 2017. In fact, in April 2023, she was spotted hanging out with Joe Biden and family members (including Maisie and Beau, Jr.) at a fancy SoHo Italian restaurant named Charlie Bird. And the more you look at photos of Malia and the Bidens courtesy of the Daily Mail, the more you can see how tight their relationship really is.
Malia seems completely relaxed and at ease in these photos, and the pictures also show her and the Bidens jaunting all over New York City. Notably, this meeting didn’t seem to be connected to any political issue or public relations opportunity. Instead, it looks like Malia just regularly hangs out with Joe Biden and his family, and this is a sweet echo of the friendship between Joe Biden and Barack Obama.
Malia and Sasha are role models to younger Biden family members
Earlier, we touched on the positive relationship that Malia Obama seems to have with Naomi Biden. Later, Naomi would give an interview to Today along with fellow Biden granddaughters Missy, Finnegan, and Natalie. The granddaughters seemed to all agree on one thing: they found Malia and her younger sister Sasha to be inspirational role models that everyone could learn a lot from.
Finnegan, for example, gushed about how the Obama daughters managed to navigate eight tricky years of being in the public eye while their dad was president. “And they came out so grounded and humble, and they’re so smart and driven,” she said, “so I think we can only take advice from them.”
Maisy, meanwhile, talked about how funny it was having Barack Obama serve as the coach for the youth basketball team she and Sasha were in together. “There’s a lot of teams that were like, ‘This is unfair, they can’t have the president be their coach,’ but I mean, we won,” she laughed.
Additionally, Finnegan said Malia and Sasha continue to offer ”advice…and support” to Biden’s granddaughters despite having so many responsibilities of their own to handle. This has led some to speculate that Biden’s ability to resonate with young people and keep Malia in his family’s life might help him eventually win more young people to vote for him in 2024. For Joe’s sake, let’s hope that he’ll still appeal to young voters when he didn’t spend nearly a decade working with their dad!