01/15/2009 11:54 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Malia and Sasha Sell

Is this a red flag moment? Barack Obama has used his personal story to promote himself to leader of the free world. This story has seemed inspirational, gutsy, and charming. Well, it might be shameless, too. Or at least getting out of control.

Yesterday, in Parade magazine, the soon-to-be president published a letter he wrote (or someone wrote for him) to his daughters. In the words of one of Newser"s commenters: "Gag me with a spoon!"

Now, presidents need to spew all sorts of rote, insincere, maudlin baloney. But to do it in the name of your young children, to make them, as it were, cry on cue, is a bit savage (and to do it in Parade, sheesh).

We ought to note the exceptionality of this bit of crassness, too.

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