WASHINGTON • Mrs Michelle Obama’s eponymous Spotify podcast, The Michelle Obama Podcast, is finally here. And her first guest is none other than her husband of 28 years, former United States president Barack Obama, reports Harper’s Bazaar.
Launched on Wednesday, the podcast will examine the relationships that have shaped the lives of guests, which include businesswoman Valerie Jarrett, who talks about mentorship, and television host Conan O’Brien in a discussion on marriage.
In the first episode, the former first couple look at the bonds they have forged with their respective communities, which they say were integral to both their upbringing and their careers long before their tenures in the White House.
Mrs Obama, 56, reflects on her upbringing in Chicago’s South Shore community, which has a strong sense of community spirit. Recalling neighbours supporting one another, she says that it shaped her into someone who looks out for others. That emphasis on community is something she sees in her husband too.
“You know the core of everything you have done politically, what I know about you as a person and one of the reasons why I fell in love with you is…,” she says, before being interrupted by Mr Obama.
“It wasn’t just my looks. But that’s okay,” the 58-year-old jokes.
“You’re cute, you know,”she continues.
“But, no. One of the reasons I fell in love with you is because you are guided by the principle that we are each other’s brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. And that’s how I was raised.”
In 1985, two years after he graduated from Columbia University, Mr Obama began working as a community organiser in Chicago, setting up a job training programme, a college preparatory tutoring programme, as well as establishing a tenants’ rights organisation in Altgeld Gardens.
The two met four years later, in 1989, when he was interning at a Chicago law firm where she was an associate. The couple tied the knot three years later in 1992.
Reflecting on their shared values, Mrs Obama says: “I can say that my family, my neighbourhood, my notions of community growing up shaped that view, and shaped the choices that I made in life as I felt your experiences shape yours.”
In their usual fashion, the couple, in between charming banter, easy laughter and quick “love yous”, also discuss family life, giving listeners a glimpse into the conversations they have around the dinner table.
Reflecting on the legacy they hoped to leave for their daughters, Malia and Sasha, Mr Obama says: “When you and I think about what’s the inheritance we’d like to leave Malia and Sasha, more than anything that it would be is that they’re living in a country that respects everybody and looks after everybody; celebrates and sees everybody. ‘Cause we know that if we’re not around, that those girls are in a society like that, they’ll be fine.”
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