“I don’t think there’s an issue that my husband deals with that isn’t tough. It’s hard being the President of the United States. But I think he’s doing a great job.”
That’s First Lady Michelle Obama on her husband’s leadership skills. Mrs. Obama sat down with TODAY host Matt Lauer this morning and talked about raising kids in the White House and how proud she is of her husband’s accomplishments and demeanor.
The First Lady didn’t shy away from sharing intimate details about the Obama family’s private life, confirming that President Obama successfully quit smoking about a year ago. When asked how he was able to do it in spite of all the stress he faces, Michelle replied, “I don’t know. Once he made the commitment to quit, I left him alone because it’s a very personal thing. I don’t think that there’s one right way to do it. I just know that once a person makes the decision, they have to find the best path. So I said when a person is doing the right thing, you leave ‘em alone.”
The First Lady is confident that despite having to grow up in the spotlight, her daughters Sasha and Malia are doing just fine. “There are a lot of great kids who have come out of the White House,” she said. “The Bush girls are magnificent. Chelsea Clinton, she’s a solid young woman. Caroline Kennedy – I mean, we’ve got a pretty good track record. So the Obama girls hopefully will be in that group.”
Like many of us, Michelle Obama seems to be in awe of her husband’s level head. “One of his gifts is consistency,” she told Lauer. “Emotionally he doesn’t get too high or too low, unless it has to do with his family. Who he is as a President and who he is as a Dad and as a husband are very different things, but he’s got a thick skin and he’s focused on a set of goals. He wants to do the best job he can in office and I think he’s doing a great job.”
The First Lady did talk a bit about politics, chiming in on the unemployment rate, job training, re-election and of course her program to fight childhood obesity, Let’s Move. “We’re seeing some of the most sweeping changes in school lunches that we’ve seen in generations,” she said. Lauer joked, “You’re not gonna take my kids’ tater tots, though.” “Do you want them to have the tater tots?,” Michelle asked. “I want the tater tots,” he chuckled.
Mrs. Obama seems to have sound advice when it comes to children maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “I tell my kids, you can have birthday cake and do whatever you want as long as you’re eating your vegetables every day and you’re getting some exercise.”
Near the end of the interview, she told Lauer, “Life is about good food – at least in America.” Amen. To hear what the First Lady has to say about her passion for fashion, whether or not Barack is dyeing his hair and how she feels about tweens being on Facebook, watch the full interview, below.