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Quotations (49)

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Herein are Barrack's love notes to his wife, may or may not part of the 311 quotes posted in Goodreads: I’m a slow walker—a Hawaiian walk, Michelle likes to say, sometimes with a hint of impatience. === I asked them to describe their…
We didn’t just love each other and make each other laugh and share the same basic values—there was symmetry there, the way we complemented each other. We could have each other’s back, guard each other’s blind spots. We could be a team. Of…
She took my face in her hands. “Have you ever noticed that if there’s a hard way and an easy way, you choose the hard way every time? Why do you think that is?” We both laughed. === AFTER SEVERAL YEARS of dating, Michelle and I were…
Around six a.m. on the Fourth of July, Michelle poked me and said it was time to go to the hospital. I fumbled around and gathered the bag I’d set by the door, and just seven hours later was introduced to Malia Ann Obama, eight pounds and…
Magic beans P1 of 2: “If I win, hon,” I said, “it will draw national attention. I’ll be the only African American in the Senate. With a higher profile, I can write another book, and it’ll sell a lot of copies, and that will cover the…
Magic beans P2 of 2: Michelle shook her head and looked out the window. We both knew what I was asking for. Another disruption. Another gamble. Another step in the direction of something I wanted and she truly didn’t. “This is it,…
I relished wriggling Malia into her first ballet tights or grasping her hand as we walked to the park; watching baby Sasha laugh and laugh as I nibbled her feet; listening to Michelle’s breath slow, her head resting against my shoulder, as…
Michelle came out of the bedroom in a shimmery formal dress. “You look so pretty, Mommy,” Sasha said. Michelle did a twirl for the girls. “Okay, you guys behave yourselves,” I said, kissing them before saying goodbye to Michelle’s mother,…
“And you need to disguise your voice,” Malia added. “People recognize it. You have to talk with a higher voice. And faster.” “Daddy talks so slow,” Sasha said. “Come on, Daddy,” Malia said. “Try it.” She shifted into the highest-pitched,…
Our evenings and weekends appeared normal so long as Malia and Sasha were swirling about, but I felt the tension whenever Michelle and I were alone. Finally, one night after the girls were asleep, I came into the den where she was watching…
Michelle cut me off, her voice choked with emotion. “Did you say we?” she said. “You mean you, Barack. Not we. This is your thing. I’ve supported you the whole time, because I believe in you, even though I hate politics. I hate the way it…
Michelle lifted her eyebrows as if to suggest she didn’t believe me. “If that’s really true, then the answer is no,” she said. “I don’t want you to run for president, at least not now.” She gave me a hard look and got up from the couch.…
Why would I put her through this? Was it just vanity? Or perhaps something darker—a raw hunger, a blind ambition wrapped in the gauzy language of service? Or was I still trying to prove myself worthy to a father who had abandoned me, live…
“Well, honey,” she said finally, “that was a pretty good answer.” P1 of 2: “You’ve said there are a lot of other Democrats who are capable of winning an election and being president. You’ve told me the only reason for you to run is if…
... good answer.” P2 of 2: How lucky I had been, I thought. “Barack?” I shook myself out of the reverie. “Right,” I said. “Why me?” I mentioned several of the reasons we’d talked about before. That I might be able to spark a new kind of…
I’d repeat this three or four times, with a cold sandwich or a salad wedged in there somewhere, before finally staggering into another motel around nine p.m., trying to catch Michelle and the girls by phone before they went to bed, before…
My in-laws fully embodied the tastes and aspirations we tend to claim as uniquely American, and I didn’t know anyone more mainstream than Michelle, whose favorite meal was a burger and fries, who liked to watch reruns of The Andy Griffith…
My team and I largely deserved the blame; we’d put Michelle on the road without the speechwriting, prep sessions, and briefers that I had at all times, the infrastructure that kept me organized and on point. It was like sending a civilian…
Watching the sun go down over the Pacific with my arms wrapped around Michelle, just listening to the wind and rustling palms—worth it. Seeing Toot hunched over on her living room couch, barely able to raise her head but still smiling with…
... Michelle appeared on the television screen, luminescent in an aquamarine dress, to deliver the convention’s opening night address. I had deliberately avoided reading Michelle’s speech beforehand, not wanting to meddle in the process or…
My mother-in-law, in particular, made no pretense of being relaxed; through the din, I noticed her sitting on the couch, her eyes fixed on the television, her expression one of disbelief. I tried to imagine what she must be thinking,…
Over the course of the campaign, I’d watched Michelle adapt to our new circumstances with unerring grace—charming voters, nailing interviews, perfecting a style that showed her to be both chic and accessible. It was less a transformation…
But as had been true during so much of the last ten years, the day-to-day burden of parenting rested largely on Michelle. And as she watched how—before I had even assumed office—the vortex of work pulled me in, as she saw her own career…
She sought advice from Hillary and from Laura Bush on how to insulate them from the press and grilled the Secret Service on ways to avoid having the girls’ security detail disrupt playdates and soccer games. She familiarized herself with…
“We just want to make sure you’re treated like every other president,” Von explained. “That’s right,” Buddy said. “See, you and the First Lady don’t really know what this means to us, Mr. President. Having you here…” He shook his head.…