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Two O's on the Cover of the Opra Magazine - Exclusive interview of Michelle Obama

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Oprah Talks to Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama's Oprah Magazine cover
The Exclusive O Interview

Our new First Lady on the surprises of life in the White House ("If you want pie, there's pie! If something breaks, it's fixed. In an hour")...the rules she's laid down for Malia and Sasha ("I want the kids to be treated like children, not little princesses")...and how she hopes to use "one of the best jobs in the world" to help women transform their lives. Here's a sneak peek...


For all the majesty of the White House, the First Lady has already infused it with a palpable ease; her presence makes the place feel open and approachable. When we sit down to talk, she seems as relaxed as she did when I first interviewed her and her husband in their Chicago apartment in 2004. "This room has the best light in the house," she tells me as we settle in, shoes off, on a comfortable sofa. "And there's pie here, too. The pie in the White House is dangerously good." — Oprah

Oprah: So after the inauguration, what was your first weekend in the White House like?

Michelle Obama: Well, we still had family here, so it was almost like a wedding. A huge, very complicated wedding. The last visitors didn't leave until Sunday. And then the first Monday was kind of weird. You know: "Now we live here, and Barack is getting up and going to work, and it's just us. This is our home now."

Oprah: I had heart palpitations coming through the White House gate, recognizing that this really is now your home. It's the White House, and it's your home.

Michelle Obama: And it's a beautiful home. When you go out and come back, especially at night, with all the white lights on—it's just beautiful. We feel privileged, and we feel a responsibility to make it feel like the people's house. We have the good fortune of being able to sleep here, but this house belongs to America.

Oprah: How will the decorating style change?

Michelle Obama: It will reflect our family. I want comfortable sofas, I want art that reflects contemporary and traditional, I want to bring in new American artisans.

Oprah: You want more than just a few plates on the walls. You want pieces that are inclusive of American culture.

Michelle Obama: Right. And we want approachable comfort.

Oprah: So you can take off your shoes.

Michelle Obama: And you've got to be able to make a fort with the sofa pillows! Everything must be fort-worthy.

Oprah: And the kids know he's home when they hear his helicopter landing.

Michelle Obama: Once someone on my staff e-mailed to tell me that the president was on his way. But you could already hear the helicopter, so it was like, well, no kidding.

Oprah: "Dad's home!"

Michelle Obama: The girls don't move. I’m like, "You want to see Daddy landing in the helicopter?" "No, that’s okay. We already saw it."

Oprah: So what do you know for sure, Michelle Obama?

Michelle Obama: I know that all I can do is be the best me that I can. And live life with some gusto. Giving back is a big part of that. How am I going to share this experience with the American people? I’m always thinking about that.

Don't Miss the April Issue: Read the rest of Oprah's exclusive interview with Michelle Obama. Order now & get your copy GUARANTEED

On newsstands March 17



Read more about the First Lady:

The Heart and Mind of Michelle Obama
Her husband calls her spectacular. Her friends call her a gladiator. Meet the woman Barack Obama couldn't have run without.

Michelle Obama on Motivation
The First Lady talks about work, family and motivating yourself to get out of a rut.

Oprah and Gayle's White House Visit
Why were Oprah and Gayle King at the White House—and what kind of snacks does First Lady Michelle Obama serve?  Watch now! Watch

Oprah Interviews the Obamas
First Lady Michelle and President Barack Obama talk about one of their fondest milestones as a couple.

The Oprah Show Goes Inside the Obama Marriage
Take a personal look inside the marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama.
Watch now! Watch

Michelle Obama Sits Down with Gayle at the Democratic National Convention. Listen in. Listen


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Discover more ways YOU can live your best life in every issue. O, The Oprah Magazine


Bottom Photo: Mark Abrahams

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