This is what it is all about and shows what a great woman Michelle is!
Thank you to USA Today for the article!
WASHINGTON – Former first lady Michelle Obama said Thursday that ex-President George W. Bush has become her “partner in crime” after years of sitting together at official events.
“President Bush and I are forever seatmates because of protocol – that’s how we sit at all the official functions,” Obama said on NBC’s “Today” show. “So he is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather.”
“I love him to death,” Obama added. “He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man.”
Obama expressed her affection for Bush after being asked about the moment when Bush handed her a cough drop at the Sept. 1 funeral of the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain. The moment, which happened at the National Cathedral in Washington, went viral on social media.
Bush was handing a cough drop to his wife, Laura, when Obama leaned over and asked him if she could have one too. She said she didn’t realize that anyone was watching the “simple gesture.”
“And I will add that they were old cough drops,” Obama said, describing them as being in an official White House box. “And I was like, ‘How long have you had these?’ They said, ‘A long time. We got a lot of these.’ ”
Obama, a Democrat, said her friendship with Bush, a Republican, defies labels.
“Party doesn’t separate us,” she said. “Color, gender, those sort of things don’t separate us.”
The former first lady, whose new memoir is “Becoming,” admires Zadie Smith’s novel “White Teeth” for its complexity and humor: “Even if a book takes on serious topics, I think it should still be fun to read.”
What books are on your nightstand?
I’ve usually got a pile of books next to me when I sleep, each of them at varying levels of completion. On my nightstand right now, there’s “Educated,” by Tara Westover; “An American Marriage,” by Tayari Jones; “Exit West,” by Mohsin Hamid; “White Teeth,” by Zadie Smith; and Ann Patchett’s “Commonwealth.” I’ve also got an autographed copy of Nelson Mandela’s “Conversations With Myself.” It’s a collection of his writings and speeches, an extension of sorts to “Long Walk to Freedom.” I like to flip through it from time to time because it always seems to give me an extra boost when I need it. I cherish this both because it was signed by him and because he gave it to me as a gift when my family visited his home in 2011.
When and where do you like to read?
I don’t have much time to read at home, so I get most of my reading done when I travel. I spend a lot of long plane rides reading, and I love to devour books whenever I’m on vacation.
What was the last great book you read?
“White Teeth.” I’d read it years ago but picked it up again recently because Malia is a big fan of Zadie and her work. I love the way the story weaves together so many complex and powerful forces that affect our lives and our relationships — family and parenting, religion and politics, and so much more. Plus, it’s just plain funny. I love books that make me laugh every now and then. It’s something I hoped to do with my memoir, “Becoming,” because even if a book takes on serious topics, I think it should still be fun to read.
Are you a rereader? What books do you return to again and again?
I guess the answer is both yes and no. For most of my adult life, I haven’t had a lot of time to reread books, no matter how much I loved them. My days were scheduled down to the minute in the White House, but even before then, I was balancing a demanding career with two little girls and a husband who was often traveling back and forth to Washington, D.C., or the Illinois State Capitol. So, with limited reading time, I preferred to read new books.
But even with all of that said, yes, there are a few books that I’ve read more than once. When my daughters were younger, I tagged along with some of the books they’d been reading in class. For instance, I’ve now read Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon” three times. I reread “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Life of Pi” with the girls, too. Now that they’re older, we do less of it, but it was nice for a while to have a little Obama family book club.
What genres do you especially enjoy reading?
I’m pretty open to any form — I just want it to be good. I find that I often gravitate to fiction, books where I can lose myself in a new world. I’ve spent a large part of the last decade reading briefing materials and studying up on issues like global girls’ education, children’s health or military family policies. Those are all interesting topics to me, of course, but when I get time to read on my own, I prefer something that provides a bit of an escape. That said, I don’t need to escape too much — I’m not looking to travel to outer space or a fantasy world. Science fiction isn’t really for me.
Thankfully, I have a collection of reader-friends who keep me abreast of all the latest books and up-and-coming writers. My chief of staff is always in the middle of a new book, and of course Barack still devours books like he has since I met him. So that means I’m never really at a loss for suggestions on what to read next.
So what are you reading next?
“Educated,” by Tara Westover. This one came from Barack. I actually just finished it, and it is as phenomenal as he — and everyone else — says it is. It’s an engrossing read, a fresh perspective on the power of an education, and it’s also a testament to the way grit and resilience can shape our lives. Also, since I’ve just finished a memoir of my own, I love to see how people choose to tell their own story — the small moments that tell larger truths, the character development, the courage it takes to tell a story fully. Tara’s upbringing was so different from my own, but learning about her world gave me insight into lives and experiences that weren’t a part of my own journey. To me, it’s an example of the extraordinary power of storytelling.
What were your favorite books as a child? Did you have a favorite character or hero?
Pippi Longstocking was my girl. I loved her strength — not just her physical power, but the idea that she wouldn’t allow her voice to be diminished by anyone. She’s independent, clever and adventurous — and she’s clearly a good person, someone who always does right by her friends. What I loved most was that she was a girl, and she was a little different, and she was still the most powerful character in those books.
Maybe some people find it odd for Pippi Longstocking, with her red pigtails and freckled skin, to be a role model for a black girl on the South Side of Chicago. But when I was young, there were so few prominent characters who looked like me. There was no Doc McStuffins on TV, no “Black Panther” on the big screen. So once I had kids of my own, I liked to find stories with characters who looked like my girls — but at the same time the stories didn’t have to be centered on race. One of our favorites was “The Snowy Day,” by Ezra Jack Keats. It’s a simple story about the adventures of a boy on a snowy day. He makes snow angels, slides down a snow pile and gets smacked by a snowball. It’s a boy who happened to be black and who happened to live in the city. He’s a kid just being a kid, and that’s enough.
Yesterday Michelle attended with Barack the state funeral for President George H.W. Bush. I have added pictures from the funeral to our gallery.
Many people spoke of how kind it was for George W. Bush to share a breath mint with Michelle during John McCain’s funeral … well the comradery was repeated today at the funeral of George H.W. Bush!
I really enjoy the friendship between Michelle and George!
A beautiful new image from the new feature in the January issue of Good Housekeeping as been released.
– Michelle Obama Online > Photoshoots & Portraits > 2019 > 001
As the cover star of Good Housekeeping’s January issue, the former First Lady offers an exclusive peek into her life.
After eight years as the First Lady, it feels like we already know everything about Michelle Obama. But then she released Becoming, 2018’s bestselling book, where she shares the truth about her life before, during, and after the White House.
With a little over a year to reflect, the former FLOTUS is taking on our readers’ top questions — including the advice she’d give Meghan Markle, a fellow American in the spotlight — in an exclusive interview for Good Housekeeping’s January issue.
Q: What was one of the most fun days you had at the White House? —Buni, Florence, SC
A: It’s impossible to single out one day, because there were so many good ones, but something that always made me feel good was being around children and young people. One of my priorities as First Lady was to bring as many kids into the White House as possible — in part because it was fun, but also because I hoped that if they visited a place with such history, it might open up their world a little bit. I wanted them to explore and feel like the White House was their house too, no matter what they looked like or how much money their parents made. That’s why we began a series of workshops that accompanied the music and cultural events we hosted at the White House. We made sure that kids — ordinary kids, not just the kids of a donor or a Congressman — had access to folks like Justin Timberlake, Janelle Monáe, and Smokey Robinson talking about the doubts and struggles they fought through, giving their time to inspire young people. I’d walk away from those events so hopeful. Who knows what dreams these kids could have for themselves after that?
Q: How would you compare your own adolescence with your daughters’ experience? —Christine, Philadelphia
A: There’s a lot that’s universal. Malia and I were talking recently about all the little things we’d stress over in junior high and high school — whether we’re wearing the right clothes, a snarky comment somebody made about us, the boys we crushed on, and on and on and on. We laughed about how many hours were spent inside our heads, hoping a boy would ask us to dance, or stewing over a big test, just doing everything we could to avoid even the most minor embarrassments. When I was younger, I often wondered whether this kind of obsessive thinking was unique to me and my girlfriends, but I realize now that it was something every girl feels. It’s the period of our lives when we’re finding our own voices and for the first time making independent decisions that help us figure out the person we’ll become. That’s why those years can be confusing and exhilarating and devastating, all at once.
On top of all that … there’s the bullying and body shaming that can occur on social media. There’s the knowledge that a single mistake can live forever on the Internet. There’s the pressure to get the right grades and get into the right college. And then there’s the reality that many of today’s young people are ahead of their parents when it comes to technology, and they’re experiencing things that their moms and dads never did. So sometimes parents might not understand what’s happening, or they might have trouble empathizing with some of the stresses and pressures young women feel. All of that can accelerate the feelings of isolation and self-doubt that are already so ripe during those years.
So in many ways, things are harder for young women today. But what’s inspiring to me is that so many of the young women I’ve met — from those at my daughters’ schools to the young people I’ve met all across the country — are triumphing in incredible ways. Unlike my generation, they’re not as held back by the societal belief that girls and boys can’t do the same things. They’re charging forward in sports and math and science and technology. They’re speaking up and speaking out, not just in their classrooms, but in the public arena at a young age. So I find great hope in this rising generation of young women. They’re confident, unconcerned with old stereotypes, and there’s no telling what they’re going to accomplish in the years ahead.Read More
Michelle has made her next stop in London, England. She visited the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School and did an Intimate Conversations presentation at The Royal Festival Hall.
Here is a clip from the Intimate Conversations stop in London!
Michelle Obama has said one of the reasons she supported Barack Obama’s decision to run for president in 2008 was because ‘deep down, I was like, there’s no way he’s going to win’.
During a discussion about her memoir, Becoming, at Royal Festival Hall in London, Obama said she did not believe the US was ready for a black president
I loved this genuine reaction by Michelle during her tour stop in New York City. Thank you to NPR for the report!
Michelle Obama’s fans have often remarked that she comes across as authentic even as her every move is analyzed, and sometimes criticized.
One such moment of candor occurred this weekend, as the former first lady took the stage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the latest stop on the arena-filling tour for her memoir, Becoming.
As she spoke with her friend, the poet Elizabeth Alexander, Obama talked about the challenges of balancing career and family.
“Marriage still ain’t equal, y’all,” she said, according to Vanity Fair. “It ain’t equal. I tell women that whole ‘you can have it all’ — mmm, nope, not at the same time, that’s a lie. It’s not always enough to lean in because that s*** doesn’t work.”
The writer and cultural commentator Touré was there and tweeted that the audience “freaked out” when Obama used the curse word — and that the former first lady herself said she “forgot where she was for a moment.”
Cellphone cameras were recording as she realized what she’d said.
“I’m back now,” Obama said, smiling and looking a bit sheepish. She rephrased her assessment. “But sometimes that stuff doesn’t work.”
“So oftentimes it’s not equal. And you feel a bit resentful about it. And so then it’s time to go to marriage counseling,” she added, to delighted laughter from the audience.
Obama’s mention of “lean in” was a reference to Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s mantra and 2013 book that called on women to be more assertive in the workplace. Sandberg has been under scrutiny following a New York Times report last month that she had played an active role in a campaign to discredit Facebook’s critics.
Due to her closeness with the Bush family, Michelle has made the decision to cancel her tour dates in Paris and Berlin so she can attend George H.W. Bush’s funeral on Wednesday. She sent her regrets via twitter.
I hope readers and ticket holders will understand my decision regarding my desire to attend President Bush’s funeral, and join me in paying tribute to him and his tremendous contributions to our world.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) December 2, 2018