Obama Muses On Family Stresses

OSKALOOSA -- Barack Obama was joined by wife Michelle and their two young daughters as he campaigned on themes of patriotism and family at Independence day Celebrations in Iowa today.

The Obamas found the crowd at their first stop, a brick-walled steakhouse in Oskaloosa, to be full of flag-waiving parents and kids.

Michelle Obama said the stresses of the campaign trail weren't unbearable. The family, she said, was "doing fine" and their sacrifices were "relatively minor." The campaign had asked the full Obama brood to join Daddy on Tuesday. But Michelle Obama said her two daughters
nixed the plan because they were excited about a summer camp field trip. "Family is first to us," she said.

Obama admitted it was tough to be on the road so often.

"When Michelle and I were deciding to to do this race, we know how hard it was going to be," Barack Obama said. "There's nothing more difficult than me being on the phone, hearing about their soccer game hearing about what went on their school and knowing that I'm not there to be part of their life right now," he said. "I love my Secret Service guys but I'd like to go to the stores by myself if I had an option," he said later. "I don't like all the fuss. I'm not an entourage guy."

The other side of the trade-off, he said, was the "possibility through our campaign to create a different spirit in our political life."

Trotting out a traditional campaign mainstay, Obama joked that his wife didn't want to be president herself because she was "too smart." "She just wants to be able to tell the president what to do," he said.

The Obama family is traveling in a decked-out RV driven by a Secret Service agent.