Sofa so good as Sasha Obama conducts White House surveillance mission

The president's eight-year-old daughter creeps up on her dad as he is absorbed in paperwork in the Oval Office

Whether or not eight-year-old Sasha Obama wants to follow her dad into a governmental career remains to be seen. But judging by the latest pictures of the family, a post with the CIA might be appropriate.

As her father Barack Obama sorts through some paperwork in the Oval Office, the cheeky youngster spies on him from behind a sofa.

The fun image was captured by the president's official photographer Peter Souza, who presumably didn't blow Sasha's cover to the boss.

It gives an indication of the kind of freedom Sasha and her 12-year-old sister Malia enjoy in the White House, and one of the big advantages of from working from home.

During his many months on the campaign trail, Mr Obama had to spent long periods away from his wife Michelle and their children, who were based in Chicago.

But now, with all the family together under one roof in Washington, the Obamas get to spend more quality time together.

"One of the huge benefits of being president is I now have this nice office and I go upstairs and have dinner with my family just about every night," Mr Obama told the BBC in June. "We've got a very good deal."

The picture draws comparisons with a black and white snap from 1963, which showed John Kennedy Jr as a toddler playing under his father's desk in the same room.

It was a regular occurrence to see the little boy sitting beneath the desk, which was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford Hayes in 1879, and built from the timbers of British exploratory ship, HMS Resolute.

JFK junior called it "my house", and liked to pretend that its kneehole panel was a secret door.