Barack Obama’s first romance was Michelle, and the story of how the future first lady was won over by the lanky man with the funny name could serve as a lesson on how America was swept of its feet as well, according to this week’s cover story in The New York Times Magazine. Here’s our guide to the article's hidden gems, and the highs and lows of the Obamas' marriage.
View Our Gallery of Barack and Michelle's Sweetest Moments
Dating Woes Is America ruining Barack’s attempts at romance? Obama laments criticism over a recent date with Michelle: “If I weren’t president, I would be happy to catch the shuttle with my wife to take her to a Broadway show, as I had promised her during the campaign, and there would be no fuss and no muss and no photographers,” he said. “That would please me greatly.”
West Wing Make-Out Fist bumps aren't their only PDA. According to the Times, friends have been known to discover the first couple mid-embrace in the halls of the White House.
Strict Parents When the White House staff tried to give Sasha and Malia cellphones, mom and dad nixed the idea.
It's No 'Schmoopie' Barack teasingly calls Michelle “Flotus”—her official acronym (first lady of the United States).
Disbelief Michelle is still not used to finding her husband working in the Oval Office. “It’s like, what are you doing there?” she’ll say. “Get up from there!”
Dirty Talk? While waiting in line to greet world leaders at the G-20 meeting last month, Michelle whispered things in Barack’s ear “that I probably shouldn’t repeat,” she said.
The Rough Spots Michelle: “The bumps happen to everybody all the time, and they are continuous.”
“Barack doesn’t belong to you,” a friend once told Michelle. “She was very open about not wanting to be in politics,” the friend said.
“I married you because you’re cute and you’re smart,” Michelle told Barack when he first ran for office, “but this is the dumbest thing you could have ever asked me to do.”
“She was in a lot of ways a single mom, and that was not her plan,” said another friend of Michelle’s of the years when Barack was serving in Springfield, Illinois, as a state senator.
“I wouldn’t gloss over the fact that that was a tough time for us,” Barack told the Times.