March 4th, 2010
03:33 PM ET
12 years ago

Michelle Obama on year one


Michelle Obama says that one year into her husband's presidency, the American people have finally gotten to know her. (PHOTO CREDIT: AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Washington (CNN) - Michelle Obama says that one year into her husband's presidency, the American people have finally gotten to know her.

In an interview with Politico published Thursday, the first lady said, "As first lady, people see me more often, and they see me. They don't see a caricature of me; they don't see a sound bite of me; they see all of me."

After a grueling 2008 campaign, the first lady has focused on combating childhood obesity, an issue she says deserves top billing.

"The truth is, if one in three kids in this country are overweight or obese, and those numbers are double in the African-American and Hispanic communities, that's not just an inconsequential point. That is a key part of the issue, so it seemed to me a natural and important point to make; that's not a sidebar fact," Obama told Politico.

And just days after President Obama underwent a physical examination where it was recommended he stop smoking, the first lady said his struggle to quit is understandable.

"What the president struggles with is what every smoker struggles with, it's a difficult habit to break. It's understandable that he struggles with it. Do I want him to stop completely? Absolutely."

The first lady also weighed in on the recent departure of White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, who stepped down last week after a year on the job.

"You can't look back on this year and be disappointed. She's done a great job. She came into this with a shorter-term perspective. Leaving the corporate world, she was always sort of ambivalent," said Obama.

Filed under: Michelle Obama • President Obama
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. EBC

    I'm PROUD of our FIrst Lady and President.

    March 4, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Michelle Obama Rules

    The First Lady is such a class act. I wonder how that garden is coming along.

    March 4, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. geecee

    Michelle is doing just fine. Americans really do like her and are proud to have her as First Lady. I was amused and angry a week or so ago when I saw a segment of Michelle's interview with Matt Lauer being shown on Fox Noise Channel and Bill O'Reilly had this "expert" in body language on his show and she was saying that Michelle was showing "contempt" by her mouth movements and posture sitting in the chair. If anyone or anything is contemptible, it is the Fixed News Channel and all of their hateful talking heads and "experts". They just won't give the Obamas a break for anything!!

    March 4, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. S Callahan

    Dear First Lady Obama,
    I believe you have a good heart, and in believing that I ask that you in good conscience go to bat for Pastor William Issavi of Iran , who is currently held as a prisoner simply because he is a Minister of the faith. This man is low keyed, meek, humble and a man of God.
    Please, help him and his family!

    March 4, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Gary

    Turns out Michelle is the best thing about the white house....Obama keeps smoking, deficit spending, hosting lobbyist, threatening new taxes and keeps the partisanship going. This is NOT the change we were promised. Maybe Barrak should resign and let Michelle be president!!!

    March 4, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. But Michelle and Barack Obama.....

    are on the wrong side of history......

    They are both AGAINST gay marriage.......and that's why there is no movement on gay rights......even "DADN" has been put on hold for another year of study......this is disgraceful.....and they are to blame....

    March 4, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Irma in North Carolina

    The fox (republican racits) channel should get sued for this for doing this. The racits channel should not be allowed to report any thing that has to do with politics. They should just stick with their Gal Sarah. Were was the body expert when Sarah reads her speeches and looks at her hands for notes.

    March 4, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Obama Victim

    she seems like a bright woman..........wonder why she would marry Odumbo.??...she could have done soooooooo much better

    March 4, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Sgt. USMC

    Behind every good man, stands a good woman and vice versa. EBC, I too am proud of my President and First Lady.

    To you folks who are still waiting for change, you missed the bus a long time ago. Maybe you were too dazed and confused from the previous administration to realize the revolution started before the tea party movement or hate rallies at town hall meetings. It began on a historical November day in 2008. You need to make like fries, and "ketchup"! lol

    March 4, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    First Lady Michelle Obama has had an extraordinary year as First Lady. She comes across as down to earth, very intelligent, great mom, and enchanting. The fact that the Queen of England, who is known for being a cold fish, reached out and touched her (gasp!) says a lot about the warmth this fabulous lady exudes.

    March 4, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This six(6) figured, well educated woman along with being an attorney herself has done a remarketable job as our First Lady. Love you First Lady Michelle Obama.

    March 4, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Proud to be an american

    I wonder if she's "proud of america" yet? Just another CHICAGO CROOK. Yes, here is chicago we have crooks who are WHITE AND BLACK...AND HISPANIC, AND WHATEVER ELSE. Quit playing the race card. It's a joke. Debate policy...but no left winger can, because all of your policies of big government have been dispelled for over a century. But maybe they don't cover that on your welfare pamphlets?

    March 4, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Dan

    We got to know her before...
    Now we got to know her re-make by the PR crew of dozens of experts...

    March 4, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Kevin in Ohio

    Still no story, CNN, on Obama's quid-pro-quo appointment of a Judge to buy his congressman brother's vote? So obvious I cant believe you are ignoring it.

    Gotta love the Chicago style politics.

    March 4, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Capt. Snarky

    Maybe in the spirit of fiscal responsibility, she can cut down on her staffing needs......

    March 4, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Wisconsonite - It's Not Socialism, It's SANITY

    I really like our First Lady. She's a class act.

    March 4, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. seebofubar

    Let's remember who this lady is and what her thesis was about. She is extremly racist in her views. If it's true that the first moment she was proud to be an American was when Obama goe elected, then she's no American. She's a egotistical biggot.

    March 4, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Wisconsonite - It's Not Socialism, It's SANITY

    "This is NOT the change we were promised"

    I get really tired of hearing this. When are Americans going to start to understand that if we WANT change to happen WE have to make it happen. Just electing someone President, no matter how good of a President he may be, is not going to make the country miraculously ok! Our duty, as citizens, is to be informed on the FACTS and to hold our elected officials accountable. If you don't like what's happening . . . . make your voice heard!

    March 4, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. Padraig

    What a crock of you know what.

    March 4, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    To "Proud to be an american" and every other unthinking person who thinks that Liberals have somehow harmed our country, I'd like to remind you that without Liberals we wouldn't have:

    – clean water
    – clean air
    – the right to vote (if you're Black or a woman)
    – the interstate highway system
    – the national park system
    – safe working environments (including child labor laws)
    – public works projects like Hoover Dam, Bonneville Dam, the Tennessee Valley Authority

    The list goes on and on and on.

    March 4, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Proud to be an american

    I can't stop laughing about all of your appreciation for the first lady. Honestly, who cares. Ask you husband why he took away vouchers for poor african american kids in the DC school district? awww, because his union leaders got mad at Obama. I feel bad for minorities...FOR YEARS THEY SUPPORT DEMS WHO JUST USE THEM FOR THEIR VOTE THEN SPIT THEM OUT. Where are the quality schools??? where are the vouchers? Why can't kids walk home from school safely on Chicago's (dem for over 60 years) south side????? do tell

    March 4, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    Kevin in Ohio – if this story is true, why is it only ok when the Republicans do this? Why is it ok that the Republicans committed war crimes and lied us into an unnecessary war? Why is it ok that Republicans gave tax breaks to the rich, twice, without any money in the budget to fund it? Why is it ok that Republicans passed Medicare Part D with no money to fund it? Why is political posturing only ok when Republicans do it, like when they politicized the Justice Department (see Gonzalez)? Why are you only outraged now that there's a Democrat in the White House? Save it.

    March 4, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    I am very proud of our First Lady and President. They are both intelligent, warm, hard-working people, devoted to their family and their country.

    Keep up the good work!

    March 4, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. NC

    We are so proud of our beautiful, classy, well educated, wife and great Mom we have as our First Lady. What a wonderful person our First Lady is, she truly cares for others.

    March 4, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. mostrepublicansareidiots

    If their is any justice in the writing of our history books, this president will go down as one of the best and most intelligent leaders this country has ever produced.

    Against all odds he fights on for the American people, even when the folks he's fighting for hate him because they have been mislead by the republican media machine.

    He will earn a second term in office when the people see how much better their lives are three years from now. I guarantee it.

    March 4, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
1 2 3