Dynamic Duos: Sweet, Old Skool Obama Interview Unearthed


If it wasn’t enough that Michelle and Barack Obama have been named one of Ebony‘s 10 Hottest Couples for “[changing] the look of black love,” an adorable 1996 interview about their marriage has been discovered.

Leave your cynicism at the door, or skip the quotes for your own sake.

Though Michelle made the stinky, morning-breath-having Barack Obama the more famous image of their mornings, Barack has a different image of his wife.

“Sometimes, when we’re lying together,” he says, “I look at her and I feel dizzy with the realization that here is another distinct person from me, who has memories, origins, thoughts, feelings that are different from my own. That tension between familiarity and mystery meshes something strong between us. Even if one builds a life together based on trust, attentiveness and mutual support, I think that’s it’s important that a partner continues to surprise.”

It’s enough to make you want to hate her, you can admit it.

Michelle, for her part, had heard that he was hot but she figured it was all hat and no cattle, until she met him and felt an immediate attraction.

“It’s not every day that a girl from the South Side of Chicago meets someone who speaks Indonesian, who has traveled and has seen many fascinating things,” she says. “It gave him a rather rare dimension in my higher middle-class work environment. Usually, these people are all cast from the same mold, but he came from elsewhere. He had a high level of conversation, while still remaining an average guy.

Except for the arugula thing, of course.

Michelle, as one might expect, was already hesitant about Barack pursuing a political career any further than he already had, but attributes it to her own shyness and preference to confide in loyal friends rather than people who might be working for her, so you can’t lay any pushing at her doorstep. One thing you might be able to lay at her feet? The overuse of the word “audacious” this campaign season.

“Barack helped my overcome my shyness, take on risks, and try a less traditional path, just to see how it would go, because that’s how he was raised,” she says. “I’m the more traditional in the couple and he’s the more audacious. I’m more cautious…

Damn her!

Barack, on the other hand, was keen to pursue a political path, though tempered his ambition with the knowledge that Michelle had to have a say and that their (then-future) kids would be affected.

Mr. Obama says that for him and his wife, “kids are an important priority. We really look forward to having them. I think that the issue will be finding a balance between public life and private life, which will mean finding a balance between my temperament that leans towards risk-taking and ambition, and Michelle’s instinct for stability, family and strong values. The way we go about dealing with these issues will be crucial.”

After the interview and all the rest of the campaign season, the question for Ebony is not whether Michelle and Barack Obama redefine black love, but whether they are going epitomize and redefine modern public relationships with all their talk of compromise, compatibility and obvious ongoing affection for one another. Even though I’m white, I wouldn’t mind some of that.

Sacre Bleu! Le Monde Publishes Never-Before-Seen 1996 Interview With Obamas About Their Marriage [ABC News – Political Punch]
Obamas Named One of Year’s “Hottest Couples” [The Page]

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