Barack Obama has revealed that he went against his wife Michelle's wishes by running for President in 2008. The 44th President of the United States sat down for an interview with Stephen Colbert — to promote his new memoir, A Promised Land — and shared that Michelle was not a fan of the idea. "Her initial response was 'No,'" he recalled.
"What I said to her, 'We still need to think through all the different elements of it and if at the end of that you still say no, then it's a no,'" Obama continued. "And she sort of changed her mind, kind of. But, what is absolutely true is — and I've never fully got out of the dog house for this — is that I put her and our kids through an extraordinarily stressful, difficult sequence in deciding to run for president, right after I had just gone through a tough race." He then joked, "Michelle stayed angry at me about it," and quipped that "it would flare up every so often, but she stayed mad about it through all eight years." Obama later joked that Michelle had finally forgiven him "until this interview."
In another recent interview, for Vanity Fair, Obama spoke highly of his wife, telling Jesmyn Ward that "Michelle is funnier" than he is. "I have to say that, because she insists that she is. She’s naturally just a great storyteller. There’s a rule in our household that she can tease me but I cannot tease her. I pointed out that’s not fair, and she says, 'Yeah. So what?' I am often the brunt of her humor, and the girls have picked up on that. So at the dinner table, generally, I am the recipient of mockery and jokes."
He explained that he believes this balance is part of what makes A Promised Land such a good read. "Whatever humor comes through in the book is a reflection of me trying to accurately capture my voice, and the back-and-forth with my family, friends, and staff during this journey. I think that all of us use humor, to some degree or another, to help explain the world around us. The human condition can be absurd, and if you learn to laugh about it, then that helps you get through pain and hardship and difficulty."