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President Obama Says He Won't Speak at Daughter Malia's High School Graduation Because He'll Be Too Busy Crying

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Jacquelyn Martin/AP

President Obama is a man who knows his limits. He’s also a man who’s not afraid to cry.

That’s the twofold reason he will not be the commencement speaker at his 17-year-old daughter Malia Obama‘s high school graduation this year.

Obama told guests at a lunch in Detroit on Wednesday that he’ll be too overcome with emotion to get through a speech without tearing up. I’ll just “cry and sit there,” he said.

The president had similar sentiments at a town hall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last week, where he told the crowd he can’t even talk about Malia leaving home because it makes him cry.

Malia, a senior at the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., is expected to start college in the fall. While her choice of school is still unknown, she has toured at least a dozen public and private colleges in recent years, including Ivy Leagues Princeton, Harvard, Brown, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale. But her dad has advised her not to choose a college based on its brand.

“One piece of advice that I’ve given her is not to stress too much about having to get into one particular college,” Obama told students during a town hall on college affordability in Des Moines, Iowa, in September. “There are a lot of good colleges and universities out there Just because it’s not some name-brand, famous, fancy school doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get a great education there.”

Of course, that’s “assuming that Malia will listen to my advice,” he added. “She’s very much like her mother at this point. She’s got her own mind.”