If you haven’t read the feature interview of Barack and Michelle Obama in Vogue’s April issue, shame on you. As if I needed another reason to love them, they hit us with several gems of realness throughout the interview. They talk about their love, dedication and devotion to each other both before and in the White House.
When I paraphrase Jarrett’s observation for the president and First Lady, he shifts in his seat and leans forward. “Well, what is true is that, first and foremost, Michelle thinks about the girls. And pretty much everything else from Michelle’s perspective right now is secondary. And rightly so. She is a great mom. What is also true is Michelle’s had to accommodate”—he pauses for a long while—“a life that”—another pause—“it’s fair to say was not necessarily what she envisioned for herself. She has to put up with me. And my schedule and my stresses. And she’s done a great job on that. But I think it would be a mistake to think that my wife, when I walk in the door, is, Hey, honey, how was your day? Let me give you a neck rub. It’s not as if Michelle is thinking in terms of, How do I cater to my husband? I think it’s much more, We’re a team, and how do I make sure that this guy is together enough that he’s paying attention to his girls and not forgetting the basketball game that he’s supposed to be going to on Sunday? So she’s basically managing me quite effectively—that’s what it comes down to.
And a couple quotes discussing how they play off each other:
“Well, patience and calm I’m borrowing,” says the First Lady. “Or trying to mirror. I’ve learned that from my husband, that sort of, you know, ability to not get too high or too low with changes and bumps in the road . . . to do more breathing in and just going with it.
Without missing a beat, the president says, “And what Michelle has done is to remind me every day of the virtues of order.” The First Lady lets out a big laugh. “Being on time. Hanging up your clothes. Being intentional about planning time with your kids. In some ways I think . . . we’re very different people, and some of that’s temperamental, some of it is how we grew up. Michelle grew up in a model nuclear family: mom, dad, brother. . . . She just has these deep, wonderful roots.
And lastly…(sigh )
“There’s no doubt I’m a better man having spent time with Michelle. I would never say that Michelle’s a better woman, but I will say she’s a little more patient.”
“I would say I’m a better woman. You couldn’t say it.”
“I couldn’t say it,” he says.
The First Lady looks at me: “It’s good that he learned not to say that.” And then turns and looks at him and smiles. “Don’t say that.”