It wasn’t love at first sight when Michelle Obama met Barack, but it was definitely infatuation, she confessed on her podcast. Something about the future president that set him apart from the other guys…
Finding someone like Barack Obama is a rarity, Michelle Obama said on the September 2 episode of her Spotify podcast. The former FLOTUS confessed what initially attracted her to her husband of 27 years in an intimate discussion about marriage, revealing that his confidence was key to winning her heart. He was all in on their relationship from the very beginning.
“Once [Barack and I] started talking and became friends, he was very clear — just like, ‘I want to date you. At least in my experience up until then, men would be coy. They would, you know, sort of look around the room. It was all so complicated, and it felt, a little immature,” she explained in her conversation with Conan O’Brien, looking back on when she and her husband first met in 1989, while both working at a Chicago law firm. The future president was none of those things. He wasn’t playing games.
“What struck me about Barack was his, lack of pretense,” Michelle said. “I mean, he was somebody who knew what he wanted, and wasn’t afraid to say it. And, I thought, ‘well, if he’s that in tune with his emotions that he can that say out loud to somebody that doesn’t know.’ He didn’t know whether I liked him back! He was like, ‘look, let me tell you, this is what I think about you: I think you’re special, I think you’re different, and I would like to take you out.’ And that was rare. And it was attractive.”
Michelle said that she doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but it was definitely infatuation and attraction at first sight when it came to her husband of nearly 30 years. They’ve had their ups and downs over the past three decades, of course, like any married couple, and massive arguments. They’re both lawyers, after all. “We know how to win an argument, and sometimes, I, we can feel ourselves, just, lawyering ourselves to death,” she told Conan, sharing an anecdote about the time she “threw away” her engagement ring during a fight. “We were in my car, I wasn’t really throwing it out, I threw it where I would know it would go,” she stressed.
During the podcast episode, Michelle also discussed what makes an ideal spouse, using a basketball analogy. Essentially, the person you want by your side is LeBron James. “You don’t want any weak links, you don’t want somebody that you can dominate. You don’t want somebody who’s kind of a loser, right?” she said. “And also, if you’re on a team, you’ve got to be able to do everything — especially in basketball, it’s like, you would never pick somebody that says, ‘I only dribble. I don’t shoot, I don’t defend, I just dribble.’ If we looked at marriage as a real team, you want your teammate to be a winner. You want LeBron.”
The Michelle Obama Podcast airs Wednesday mornings on Spotify.