Michelle Obama covers Vogue, talks about family life in the White House

Yay! A month ago, everybody thought Michelle Obama was going to be on the March cover of Vogue Magazine, the annual “Power Issue”. But she wasn’t. As it turns out, Mobama scored the April cover, “the Shape Issue”!! Huzzah! This is Michelle’s second Vogue cover – her first was March 2009, when she had just become FLOTUS. Four years, a reelection and one set of midlife crisis bangs later, Michelle sat down for Vogue once again. She’s wearing Reed Krakoff on the cover, I think (that was widely reported), and YAY, she’s showing off her amazing arms. Love the color of that Krakoff dress. You can read the full Mobama interview here at Vogue – I’m going to go back later to enjoy it thoroughly, but for now, here are some highlights:

MO on the criticisms that the Obamas don’t entertain enough: “I don’t think it’s our job to put an idea to rest. Our job is, first and foremost, to make sure our family is whole. You know, we have small kids; they’re growing every day. But I think we were both pretty straightforward when we said, ‘Our number-one priority is making sure that our family is whole.’ ”

BO on his “bachelor apartment” in Washington when he was in the Senate:
“…The culture in Washington has changed in ways that probably haven’t been great for the way this place runs. . . . When you talk to the folks who were in the Senate or the House back in the sixties, seventies, eighties, there was much less pressure to go back and forth to your home state. . . . Campaigns weren’t as expensive. So a lot of members of Congress bought homes here in the area; their kids went to school here; they ended up socializing in part because their families were here. By the time I got to the Senate, that had changed. Michelle and the girls, for example, stayed in Chicago, and I had this little bachelor apartment that Michelle refused to stay in because she thought it was a little, uh. . . .You know, pizza boxes everywhere,” he says. “When she came, I had to get a hotel room.”

The First Lady leans in toward me. “That place caught on fire.”

“It did end up catching on fire,” says the president sheepishly.

“And I was like, I told you it was a dump,” she says. Her husband continues, “As a consequence, I think, when the Washington press writes about this, part of what they’re longing for has less to do with us; it has to do with an atmosphere here where there was more of a community in Washington, which did result, I think, in less polarization. Because if your kids went to school together and you’re seeing each other at ball games and church, then Democrats and Republicans had a sense that this is not just perpetual campaigning and political warfare.”

BO on his wife:
“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. I’m sure Valerie might have made it sound more romantic.” The First Lady, who has been staring at her lap through this entire answer, finally looks up and laughs.

What MO gets from BO:
“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. I’m learning that every day. And to the extent that I’ve made changes in my life, it’s just sort of stepping back and seeing a change not as something to guard against but as a wonderful addition . . . that can make life fun and unexpected. Oftentimes, it’s the way we react to change that is the thing that determines the overall experience. So I’ve learned to let go and enjoy it and take it in and not take things too personally.”

What BO gets from MO:
“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. When you go back to Chicago, she’s got family everywhere. . . . There’s just a warmth and a sense of belonging. And you know, that’s not how I grew up. I had this far-flung family, father left at a very young age, a stepfather who ended up passing away as well. My mother was this wonderful spirit, and she was adventurous but not always very well organized. And, so, what that means is that I’m more comfortable with change and adventure and trying new things, but the downside of it is, sometimes—particularly when we were early on in our marriage—I wasn’t always thinking about the fact that my free-spirited ways might be having an impact on the person I’m with. And conversely, early in our marriage, Michelle provided this sense of stability and clarity and certainty about things, but sometimes she resisted trying something new just because it might seem a little scary or push her out of her comfort zone. I think what we’ve learned from each other is that sense of. . . .” “Balance,” she says. “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.”

[From Vogue]

Ugh, that’s only halfway through the interview! Anyway, I need to wrap this up or this post will be ten pages long. So here’s the gist: the Obamas are a wonderfully efficient team, whether you’re talking about co-parenting, marriage, campaigning or governance. And besides that… they just love each other. *sigh*

Photos courtesy of Annie Leibovitz/Vogue.

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94 Responses to “Michelle Obama covers Vogue, talks about family life in the White House”

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  1. ldub says:

    GORG! MUCH better than the first time.

  2. PrettyTarheelFan says:

    *swoon* I just love them. I don’t always agree with his politics, and as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative, I struggle in our two-party dominated system…but their marriage just seems so solid. They GET each other. It’s adorable.

    • aud says:

      oh god, i have the same struggle. why is it one extreme or the other??

      i just vote for ralph nader, knowing he’ll lose

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        I really hate to say this, but if people like you had voted for ‘one or the other’ in 2000 Al Gore would have won, and the 4,000 plus American lives we’ve lost in two senseless wars would have been avoided.

        And If Obama had gone on to win in 2008, we ‘still’ would have gotten Osama Bin Laden … which was the initial reason why President Bush asked to go to war, not Iraq.

        Sorry, I just had to say that. A large majority of people who said they voted for Ralph Nader ‘knowing he would lose’ also said they would have voted for Al Gore. We should all remember the extremely short margin by which Mr. Gore last that election.

      • PrettyTarheelFan says:

        So you feel that those of us who don’t agree with mainstream political views should pick the lesser of two evils to ensure the greater of two evils doesn’t get elected? Doesn’t that sort of defeat the point?
        That being said, and this is not necessarly directed at you but the concept in general, I voted mainstream in the last election because my social conscience demanded that I protect the right to choose who to marry, when to have children, and be willing to pay a little more in taxes. It wasn’t propaganda, it was intense research into each candidates positions on issues that are closest to my heart. I say that as a Christian, Southern, married, mom who believes that everyone has the right to their own beliefs, timelines, and love, and that trying to enforce “traditional” values through legislature is only going to breed hatred and contempt.

        To Be Clear: I am a Libertarian who voted Democratic because ROMNEY SUCKS.

  3. cmc says:

    Oh my goodness, that picture of her in the black dress. Gorgeous.

    And I absolutely love the way they talk about each other. What a team!

  4. Cinnamon says:

    who criticizes them for not entertaining ENOUGH?
    but to say something nice, she looks great in these photos

    • Kizzy says:

      I KNOW!!! I said the same thing!!! I made a note to myself that if I ever got famous and I know that people are criticizing me for something, I will tell the interviewer to ask me why I do something opposite of what I get criticized for, that’ll shut up and confuse most people.

      (If anything, some people criticize them for being *too entertaining)

      Don’t get me wrong, I adore Michelle. But I’m not too blind to see obvious manipulation – whether it’s coming from her camp or Vogue’s. I hate that!

      I enjoyed reading everything else.

      • MCraw says:

        They’re criticized for not hosting DC politicians. The gist of this is, “we’re against Obama cuz he won’t be our friend” from republicans. So, they vote against him as a party. That’s why he mentions how DC culture was different when families were closer, but constituents suffered.

      • Kizzy says:

        I always hear criticism of them being too in the limelight/spending/vacationing (so entertain(ment) not (ing)).

        @McCraw, Orig.K, Doofus – ur no doofus :) , I have not heard any of what you are talking about. But I’m willing to accept this is what she is referring to – I confess I’m not too into politics (frustrates me – sequester but foreign aid… not that assistance is a bad thing, it’s good… but charity begins at home… you see?).

        Anyhow, it’s better to be knowledgeable about such things than not I know. If not to make educated decisions, then especially before commenting about them. I’ve voiced my opinion but I learned something so thanks.

        But I like Michelle and the article.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      What? No. The criticism from the Right has always been that Obama keeps to himself within the political social circles and doesn’t socialize with other politicians enough or reach out to conservatives and Republicans enough.

      I guess Obama is expected to invite Mitch McConnell and other Republicans over for dinner after they’ve made it their career mission to block any initiative or law that Obama tries to pass. Really, I don’t blame him for not wanting to break bread with Republicans in Congress.

  5. bns says:

    Another horrible Vogue shoot. Surprise, surprise.

  6. Rikki says:

    She looks great. Love that picture of her and Barack.

  7. Nanz says:

    Gorgeous! Swoon! All the things said before me! God I love this couple. I love their partnership, how they parent, how they run the country (I think her support of him as well as her own projects count as running the country), everything. I will miss them so much in 2016.

  8. L says:

    Apparently Annie Lebowitz was proposing some kind of crazy shoot with a bathtub, and FLOTUS shut that stuff down. As she should. These pictures are stunning.

  9. bea says:

    Her hair looks better (not a fan of the bangs) Looks like the sides were thinned out so it looks more like a “shag” instead of that thick bob. Her figure is fantastic as well.

    Annie L’s contrived photo settings have gotten old (like Vanity Fair itself). These photographs are much better than expected.

  10. gee says:

    I might not love his politics, but I really like the both of them as people.

  11. YuYa says:

    I don’t understand why she is on the cover in the first place, much less two times. It’s ridiculous.

  12. poppy says:

    annie leibovitz is a HACK.
    fortunately for her she shoots very attractive people that other people want to look at.

    obamas are the first first family i have ever liked and probably the last. i hate everyone and i just can’t hate on them. even thought they were both lawyers. and famous.

    that green silk moire wall treatment is OMGOMGOMG. especially lovely with the cherry blossoms. OMGOMGOMG

  13. lucy2 says:

    Beautiful photos.
    They seem like such a solid, mature, well matched couple. Their girls are very lucky to grow up with such great parents, and such a strong female role model too.

  14. Gene Parmesan says:

    Omg omg I cannot wait to get this issue.

  15. Eh...I'm Indifferent says:

    That last photo is breathtaking. I keep going back to it. The dress…the posture…the full shot…I love everything about it.

  16. marie says:

    you don’t have to like her, but that’s way uncalled for.. you realize that she’s NOT the President right?

    while I am not a fan of their politics, those are lovely photos and they really do seem like a nice, loving family.

  17. Kiddo says:

    You do realize that she isn’t an elected official, right?

    • Kelly says:

      Exactly! It was right she wasn’t in the power issue. She has her position because of marriage. Instead of inspiring girls to marry well how about inspiring to be the President themselves. MO may be a very nice woman but due to the fact I cannot list any of her accomplishments on her own I am not impressed by her.

      • doofus says:

        If you can’t list any of her accomplishments on her own, you’re not paying attention.

        Sure, she gets more public attention because of who she’s married to; it puts her in the public eye, like any first lady. but to say she just “married well” is a bit inaccurate. Barack Obama wasn’t much when they met and married, but he did go on to accomplish big things. and, as he’s said, part of HIS accomplishments are due to her love and support.

        that said, OF COURSE you’re going to hear more about what HE’S accomplished, because HE’S THE POTUS. But if you really DID care about what she’s accomplished, it’s easy to find out.

  18. Suzan says:

    Take a deep breath and back away from the caps lock….

  19. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I’ve never “reported” a comment before but there’s a first time for everything.

    She’s not the president of the USA-if you have beef with Obama, FINE but leave Michelle out of it.

    • Brittney says:

      Man, you’ve all got me curious now about what was said. Obviously it would be impossible to repeat, but I can’t even piece a guess together based on the responses. Must have been a pretty crazy rant.

      That said, she’s gorgeous, inside and out. That is all.

  20. L says:

    I said this above but as a repeat.

    Not snarking, but did you have a problem with it when Laura Bush and Hilary Clinton were on the covers? The bush spread also included pictures of the daughters in ball gowns.

    It’s a pretty standard cover/article about the sitting first lady that Vogue has been running since the late 90′s. With pictures of dresses in the white house.

  21. Ailine says:

    Lots of first lady’s have posed. I think you don’t understand how an election works. Write the congress if you want help.

  22. Agnes says:

    FLOTUS looks fantastic, bangs and all. :) Love the photos, the red backgrounds are amazing. And it’s so wonderful to see the way they talk about each other. You can tell they’re a strong couple who love each other like crazy. Sigh. :)

  23. doofus says:

    um…she IS trying to help the country, with our obesity epidemic.

    and she even gets bashed for that, too.

  24. mel says:

    MO looks great. Obama will go down in history like Jimmy Carter…horrible President but will probably do lots of good after office. He is incapable of bringing both parties together to do what needs to be done…this is his job as President. Not to sit around and expect the Republicans to give in and then whine when they don’t. Here is hoping and praying Hillary runs in 4 years.

  25. lisa says:

    something about the bottom half of her face always looks really jacked up to me

  26. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Oh gosh. They are so prefect *eyeroll*
    Everyone on here talks about the image/branding people put out..Swift, JoliePitts, Will and Kate, other entertainers and public figures etc…these people are no different. Of course their PR is all lovey dovey, we are such a team, she’s a great mom, I learn patience and virtue from him/her etc… barf. This interview SCREAMS tryhard. But whatever. Even the shakiest White House marriages have put forth this image and we dont know how theirs is, but all that fluff, it’s just way TMTH.

  27. Nibbi says:

    Love her. Love him. Love that family.

    Love both dresses. Love that second shot.
    God, I wish I had her arms.

    I love how they make us all look good.

  28. TheOneAndOnlyOnly says:

    I know it’s a tradition but politicos and their wives shouldn’t be on fashion mags; anyway this puts paid the idiotic rightwing notion that the OBamas are dangerous marxist-socialist; they are actually rather pedestrian commonplace lawyer/politicos that prematurely scaled the top, as Francis Bacon said All rising to a great place is by a winding stair; Hitting golf balls, sucking up to celebs, mucking about with rich donors – typical lawyer politicos – English scholar A.N.Wilson has just come out with book on the Elizabethan’s – now Queen Elizabeth I – that was a ruler that put her stamp on an age and period, the Obamas, in contrast, are about as deep and interesting as an Old Navy ad.

  29. Tanjee says:

    I just want to say that I come to this website everyday and enjoy the stories,snark, and overall quality of the opinions here. And today I have to say that this is the ONLY website I have gone to that when speaking of the FLOTUS even those who may not agree with the POTUS politics have stated such with grace and then gone on. I truly admire the ability to know the difference between politics and the family. Sorry to go on long but some of the personal, and racial tones on other sites really had me worried. You commentators ROCK!!!!!

  30. claire says:

    She looks absolutely gorgeous! I love the cover photo. And I like reading about them as people, too. They really do seem to have such a great, loving, stable family.

  31. RHONYC says:

    1st, 2nd & 3rd thoughts:

    she looks incredibly YOUNGER & even more modernly stylish than her 1st Vogue cover. LOVES! 8O

    Jennifer Garner is somewhere reading this thinking “why the F*CK can’t Ben give me loving public accolades like this, huh??? W-H-Y!!!”. *wipes away snot* :cry:

    for proving her wrong, Vivienne Westwood is somewhere calling Anna Wintour a ‘bloody c*nt’ under her breath. :lol:

  32. Kiel says:

    Stunning photos.

    She reflects the casual beauty and elegance reminiscent of a young Sarah Jessica Parker.

  33. Helvetica says:

    His comments about her:

    He seems like he really loves her. She’s really lucky.

  34. Gemini08 says:

    Love the interview and love that photo of her in the black dress!

  35. Jess says:

    She looks so great and they do seem to have such a strong marriage. Good for them!

  36. Ramona Q says:

    her bangs look MUCH better on the cover. they are a little fringe-y and not like a cabbage patch kid’s bangs!

  37. Nan says:

    They’re both great human beings and Michelle is my favorite first lady.

  38. Anna says:

    I dislike Obama intensely…From his terrible foreign policy in the Mideast to Obamacare to his handling of the economy…But people do easily fall for his rhetoric shtick. By the way, I think the Repubs are just as much of a mess.

    She looks nice here–for once–but I do not really admire her as a Flotus figure. I believe she should be doing more than just nutrition and diet issues. Also, the amount of vacations she took and the money spent on them were too excessive.

    Not my favorite team, but nice photos

  39. Dirty Martini says:

    Nice pics. I’m sure they are as happy a married couple as it comes. Good for them.

    But no — not a fan politically. I too abhor this 2 headed monster political system of extremes ……fiscal conservative …social moderate….with strong libertarian leanings.

    Yet to find the perfect candidate.

  40. Holly says:

    MO is an attractive lady and did not need the level of photoshop used for this cover. As someone who uses pshop extensively, it is very easy to see the footprints. They have even thinned her waist. She is a healthy lady but definitely not svelte. She has an average waist with above average hips. No need to varnish her as she is attractive in her own skin.