Embattled Hill staffer Elizabeth Lauten has resigned amid a backlash over critical remarks she posted on Facebook Friday about President Obama’s daughters.
Lauten, communications director for Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher (R-Tenn.), came under fire over the weekend after posting derogatory remarks about Sasha and Malia Obama regarding their appearance at the president’s annual Turkey pardoning.
“Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class,” Lauten wrote. “Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar.”
Lauten confirmed her resignation to The Washington Post on Monday morning.
Several media outlets pointed out that the two girls, ages 16 and 13, appeared bored while their father spoke during Wednesday’s event. The exasperated looks on the pair’s faces were used to gently mock the annual turkey pardon on social media Wednesday and Thursday and drew wry headlines from publications such as USA Today and Gawker.
But Lauten’s comments struck a nerve among critics who accused her of going too far and turning the two girls into political targets. Her original post quickly went viral, inspiring blog posts and tweets condemning her choice of words. She issued an apology on Facebook hours after her initial post.
"When I first posted on Facebook I reacted to an article and I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager," Lauten wrote Friday. "After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents, and re-reading my words online I can see more clearly just how hurtful my words were."