The Obama's marriage may have been kept mostly private, but no one can deny the immense love and respect the couple have for each other.
When former President Barack Obama came to office, he made headlines as the first African-American to hold the position. However, during his tenure, his name became synonymous with something many other things — being the coolest man to hold office and shoot a basket casually while on a work tour, being a proud feminist, and being the man who wrote an epic love story with his beloved wife—Michaelle Obama. The bond that he continues to share with the former First Lady is inspiring. But to understand how they build such a strong bond, we have to start at the beginning.
It was in 1989 that 28-year-old Barack Obama met 25-year-old Michelle Robinson at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, where she was to be his mentor. "Because I went to Harvard and he went to Harvard, and the firm thought, 'Oh, we'll hook these two people up,'" she told ABC News. At the time, Barack was a community organizer gearing to help poor neighborhoods, but he had to put that on hold to pay off his student loans. “In the luckiest break of my life, [Michelle] was assigned to be my adviser,” he told O, The Oprah Magazine in 2007. “I remember being struck by how tall and beautiful she was.”
While it may have been instant sparks for him, Michelle wasn't exactly impressed at first. She was skeptical of the charm he oozed that seemed to work on the other ladies in the office. “In my experience, you put a suit on any half-intelligent Black man and white people tended to go bonkers. I was doubtful he’d earned the hype,” she wrote in her 2018 memoir Becoming. But Barack knew how special she was.
“I asked her out. She refused. I kept asking. She kept refusing,” Barack recalled to O, continuing that she refused him many more times after. “Not once, though, did I think about him as someone I’d want to date. For one thing, I was his mentor at the firm. I’d also recently sworn off dating altogether, too consumed with work to put any effort into it," Michelle wrote in her memoir.
However, Barack didn't give up. He even quit his job before asking her out again, this time, successfully. That summer, the couple went on their first date. “He showed all the sides—he was hip, cutting edge, cultural, sensitive. The fountain—nice touch. The walk—patient,” Michelle shared with Telegraph UK.
“I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin-Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as the curb. I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate,” the 59-year-old former POTUS told O. It was in that moment that Michelle saw their future together. "And with that, I leaned in and everything felt clear," she said in her book.
This date became so famous that it was the basis of the film Southside With You. Before long, they got engaged in 1991. The following year, the couple got married. “Barack didn’t pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting. On that promise, he delivered,” Michelle said, according to Obama.org. Before long, they had their two girls, Malia and Sasha.
27 years ago, this guy promised me a life full of adventure. I’d say he’s delivered. Here’s to our next chapter of becoming empty nesters and discovering what’s next—while still feeling the magic that brought us together all those years ago. Happy anniversary, Barack. pic.twitter.com/ZKhvQGEo0B— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) October 3, 2019
Like the Beatles said: It’s getting better all the time. Thanks, babe, for 27 amazing years! pic.twitter.com/mImRqIYn1R— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 3, 2019
As time went by and Barack announced that he was running for the presidency, the mother-of-two stood by him throughout the campaign. By the time they came to power as the First Couple, people had fallen in love with them.
"If you were going to list the 100 most popular things that I have done as president, being married to Michelle Obama is number one," Barack said in his 2010 State of the Union address. And the rest is history.
For them, being in the spotlight didn't dim the love they felt for each other as they continuously engaged in sweet gestures that had people swooning. Whether it was making Michelle laugh out loud during events or cuddling with her during their behind-the-scenes moments, Barack never tried to hide his romantic side, despite being the Commander-in-Chief of the United States. After nearly three decades together as a married couple, they still take the time out to appreciate one another. So here's to the Obamas and their charsimatic love story. May they have many, many more years together!
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Chip Somodevilla