“Michelle and Barack Obama brought grace, style and intelligence to the White House.
As they—and their daughters— turn sentimental about moving on, the Obamas say their work has only just begun”
THE PERKS OF WHITE HOUSE LIVING
Mrs. Obama (watching Super Bowl 43 in 3-D in the family theater on Feb. 1, 2009) said in her first month that “living above the store” was the best part of White House life. “We haven’t had that kind of time together for years,” she told People then.
MEETING WITH THE MONARCH
At Buckingham Palace in April 2009, Mrs. Obama made headlines for gently placing her hand on Queen Elizabeth’s back, an unusually affectionate gesture when in the company of royals—and one that the Queen reciprocated.
OSAMA BIN LADEN IS KILLED
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the Situation Room as Navy SEALs raided bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan on May 2, 2011: “All we could do was wait for an update from the team….I looked at the President. He was calm.”
PEECHES IN A DOWNPOUR
At a reelection campaign event in Glen Allen, Va., on July 14, 2012, White House photographer Pete Souza recalls, Obama gave his speech “in the pouring rain…since people had been waiting for hours in the rain.”
THE SUPREME COURT LEGALIZES GAY MARRIAGE
Love wins! On June 26, 2015, the night of the high court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, recalls photographer Pete Souza, “much of the White House staff had stayed late on a Friday night to take part in the celebration.”
JERRY SEINFELD POPS OVER FOR A DRIVE
Appearing in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee on Dec. 7, 2015, Obama rued his loss of anonymity: “I would love to just be taking a walk and then I run into you sitting on a bench. And suddenly I say, ‘Hey, Jerry! How ya doin’?’”
THEIR FIRST CAMPAIGN PROMISE
Bo Obama (in May ’09), the puppy that Malia and Sasha were promised during the 2008 campaign, arrived three months after the Inauguration— and was almost named Frank. “I’m like, ‘No,’” Mrs. Obama recalls.
IN STEP WITH THE FIRST LADY’S NUTRITION KICK
The President (eating a supermarket peach in July 2009) once joked that while he went gray, “Michelle hasn’t aged a day. I ask her what her secret is, and she just says, ‘Fresh fruits and vegetables.’ It’s aggravating.”
‘MOM IN CHIEF’ MOM-DANCING FOR A CAUSE
Mrs. Obama’s dance videos with Jimmy Fallon (here in April 2015) were viral hits. “What I’ve never been afraid of is to be a little silly, and you can engage people that way….You get them to laugh, then you get them to listen,” she says.
THE G7 SUMMIT OF WORLD LEADERS
In June 2015 “we were in Krün, Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel asked the leaders…to make their way to a bench for a group photograph. The President happened to sit down first,” recalls Souza, “followed closely by the chancellor.”
DANCING WITH 106-YEAR-OLD VIRGINIA MCLAURIN
“You gotta slow down!” the President said in February 2016, but McLaurin wouldn’t hear of it. “I thought I would never get in the White House, and I tell you I am so happy. A black President and a black wife—I’m here to celebrate!”