My friend and I were talking about Barack and Michelle Obama today. We were reminiscing about how the couple had such love between them, and how their relationship looked more like a romance than a presidential formality.
They seemed like the spouses-next-door.
But they were just living in the White House, and not in a suburban or urban home. They were just known as Mr. President and First Lady, and not as Barack and Michelle.
They were always Barack and Michelle, though.
The couple met in 1989 at Sidley & Austin, a Chicago law firm. She was already working there as an associate, and she was “going to concentrate on her law career and not worry about [men].” She had plans, but they were tweaked once Barack, a Harvard graduate, was hired by the firm. Michelle had her doubts.
“He sounded too good to be true. I had dated a lot of brothers who had this kind of reputation coming in, so I figured he was one of these smooth brothers who could talk straight and impress people,” she says to David Mendell, the author of Obama: From Promise to Power.
She was wary, but his charisma and wit were too infectious to ignore. He was a lighthearted man hell-bent on helping others, so she gave the guy a chance. They were in the early stages of their relationship, but they were also in the early stages of their respective careers. Did their values, goals, and ambitions align?
The short answer was yes.
They both wanted to help people, and they wasted no time; even their dates had a purpose beyond the traditional pining for sex and love. “On one early date, [Barack] took her to a Chicago church, where he was meeting with a group of people he had worked with as a community organizer before he started law school,” The Washington Post relays.
The congregation’s event was where Barack spoke from the heart about the gap between “the world as it is, and the world as it should be.” His idealistic point of view, and his dream of assisting people in poverty and people of color reflected Michelle’s own desires.
They fell in love, and their love continued to grow. With two children and one White House later, Barack and Michelle never left the honeymoon phase. Don’t believe me? Just ask Barack, and he’ll tell you,
“She’s just my rock, and I count on her in so many ways.”