Barack and Michelle: The First Romantics
Pair redefine president-first lady relationship
By Jason Farago, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2009 9:03 AM CDT
Barack and Michelle Obama on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Like no other couple before them, Barack and Michelle Obama have made their romance a central feature of his presidency—even his inauguration night seemed like a wedding, the new first lady dressed in white, the couple dancing to a love song. Their marriage is the subject of a 7,500-word piece by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, who explored their relationship—and their shared history—in Washington and Chicago. "What I value most about my marriage," says the president, "is that it is separate and apart from a lot of the silliness of Washington."

Kantor chronicles much of the frustration Michelle felt as Barack went off to Springfield to serve in the Illinois legislature. “Michelle would say, ‘Well, you’re gone all the time and we’re broke?’” the president recalled. "'How is that a good deal?'" Yet paradoxically, they find themselves living together full-time for the first time since 1996. Says Michelle, "That’s been more of a relief for me than I would have ever imagined." Friends say it's not uncommon to catch the first couple embracing in the White House, and many have noticed how frequently the pair kiss or touch each other in public. Valerie Jarrett sees that as romantic but also necessary: "Part of what they provide each other with is emotional safety."

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Showing 3 of 38 comments
Oct 31, 2009 3:12 AM CDT
I do not like public displays of affection. Just get a room!!! The president of the US and his wife should be more professional than they are. They need to keep their mouths shut about their private life. Who cares anyway. It's just embarrassing. Do you hear of any other leader of a country mouthing off about their personal life? Some things just need to be unknown, but these people are addicted to the media. Anything to stay in the headlines. I think I will puke now. Thank you.
Oct 30, 2009 7:20 AM CDT
good for them. seems like there are still people who marry because they genuinely love each other. However there are more important things to focus on other than Obama's love life. Don't get me wrong, it's good that they actually love each other. But we have more important issues at the moment, please report that.
Oct 29, 2009 10:33 PM CDT
Sound a bit bitter there jayster, still having nightmares about your failed marriage I see