Obamas Talk "Life in the Bubble" on Oprah
By Chuck Sudo in News on May 2, 2011 3:00PM
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was taped last week, aired today. The show led off with the already seen clip of Winfrey asking the President about the release of his birth certificate, which the President said "it seemed unlikely my 18-year-old mother had plotted at the time" for him to be a Manchurian candidate and Michelle Obama called "ridiculous." From there, the appearance settled down into a discussion on the Obama's stay at the White House, the pitfalls and advantages of living in the White House, raising a family inside the bubble of the Presidency and what they hope the future holds for them. Here are some of the highlights.
The President on the smaller planet in which we live.
"We live in tumultuous times: the world is more integrated, but it means there's a problem one place that can travel around the world rapidly."
Michelle Obama on perceptions by some that her husband's policies are against the wishes of the American people.
"We live in a democracy. Barack is not a dictator."
On running for re-election.
President Obama: "Michelle has veto power."
Michelle: "I should use it more often." "We feel there's more work to be done and let the American people decide if Barack should continue to do it."
On the sacrifices their free time living in the White House
Michelle: "I can't go to Target because it would ruin everyone else's shopping experience."
President Obama: "We can't do anything outside the White House grounds that's spontaneous. I used to be to take my daughters to a park. That's a moment that's precious and we can forget how precious those moments are."
Oprah asks the Obamas how to raise a family in the White House with a sense of their own ambitions, kindness and grace.
Michelle: "We go back to basics, assign things like chores, make them do their homework (Malia will start doing laundry) and have about responsibility and respect."
Oprah asked the President to critique his administration so far,
"We still have work to do on our politics. There is still splintered rhetoric. I'm disappointed that partisan tone is still dominant. But it's harder to listen and work together when folks are under major stresses and strains."
Oprah asks Michelle Obama about what her husband's legacy would be.
"One of beautiful things of this presidency is that kids will look at him and think anything is possible. The question we now face and have faced isn't, 'is Barack ready to be President,' but if we're ready."