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On the Newsstand: Barack and Michelle Open Up to the Ladies

Barack and Michelle Obama sat down with Ladies' Home Journal to talk about marriage, parenting, women voters, and what it's like to run for President of the United States.

I have to admit, I love getting a behind the scenes look into how busy politicians try to maintain some remnants of normalcy. Stay tuned for a peek into the McCains' marriage, as LHJ plans on sitting down with John and Cindy, too. The Obama interview will be the cover story for the September issue of the magazine.

Here are some highlights:

  • On Michelle becoming a part of his administration:
    Barack: "She is my chief counsel and adviser. I would never make big decisions without asking her opinion. Certainly about my career and my life. My sense is—and I’ll let her speak for herself here—that she’d probably be more interested in having a set of projects that were driven by her interests and her desires, as opposed to me handing her some sort of portfolio, and saying, 'Here, do this.'"
  • Michelle: "There are a ton of issues that I care deeply about. But the notion of sitting around the table with a set of policy advisers—no offense — makes me yawn [laughter]. . . . I’d love to be having more conversations with military spouses."
  • On marital problems:
    Michelle: "There were a lot of things time-wise that he couldn’t provide because he was not there. So, how do I stop being mad at him and start problem solving, and cobble together the resources? I also had to admit that I needed space and I needed time."
  • To find out Barack's views on being a father, the presidency, and the role of the female voter this year,


    • On the Presidency:
      Barack: “It’s a big job. The thing that keeps me awake at night is not the prospect of losing. It’s the prospect of winning and governing.”
    • On women’s roles in this election:
      Barack: “In this election the issues of the economy are ones that women are going to particularly feel and be concerned about. But I also think the fact that Senator [Hillary] Clinton ran such an outstanding campaign and inspired so many women to think about that glass ceiling—not just in politics but in all walks of life—makes the women’s vote particularly important this year. ”

      • On what to look for in a leader:
        Michelle: “It touches me when our girls touch him. Whether it’s with a story or a word. You can see it in his face. That’s the leader I want: somebody who is so moved by his own children that he’ll go out there and fight for everyone else’s.”
      • On being a father:
        Barack: "As somebody who didn’t grow up with a father in the home, I like having men come up to me saying, ‘You know, I’m really glad you’re a good father.’ I like that maybe some little boy somewhere who doesn’t have a dad in his house sees Michelle and the girls and me out somewhere and is going to going to carry that image in his head with him somewhere down the road."
      • On raising a family:
        Michelle: “It’s a unit that raises a child. As far as I’m concerned, in this couple, Barack is the person who has the skill, the inclination, the desire, the ability to be in politics. I have no desire. So that’s a good thing, in my view, since someone has to be focusing on the kids — and that’s me. But it could easily be him. There’s no reason why the nurturing has to come from Mom — it just has to be there.”
      • On the role of government:
        Barack: “The government can’t solve every problem, but an enlightened government can make sure that people can work hard for their dreams and achieve them. Government can knock down barriers so that families are in a stronger position. And that’s what we’re going to be fighting for in this election.”


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