are a lot of tough aspects to being President. But there are some perks
too. Meeting extraordinary people across the country. Holding an office
where you get to make a difference in the life of our nation. Air Force
perhaps the greatest unexpected gift of this job has been living above
the store. For many years my life was consumed by long commutes—from my
home in Chicago to Springfield, Illinois, as a state senator, and then
to Washington, D.C., as a United States senator. It’s often meant I had
to work even harder to be the kind of husband and father I want to be.
for the past seven and a half years, that commute has been reduced to
45 seconds—the time it takes to walk from my living room to the Oval
Office. As a result, I’ve been able to spend a lot more time watching my
daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful young women.
isn’t always easy, either—watching them prepare to leave the nest. But
one thing that makes me optimistic for them is that this is an
extraordinary time to be a woman. The progress we’ve made in the past
100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years has made life
significantly better for my daughters than it was for my grandmothers.
And I say that not just as President but also as a feminist.
my lifetime we’ve gone from a job market that basically confined women
to a handful of often poorly paid positions to a moment when women not
only make up roughly half the workforce but are leading in every sector,
from sports to space, from Hollywood to the Supreme Court. I’ve
witnessed how women have won the freedom to make your own choices about
how you’ll live your lives—about your bodies, your educations, your
careers, your finances. Gone are the days when you needed a husband to
get a credit card. In fact, more women than ever, married or single, are