President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's 'Oprah Winfrey Show' visit airs one day after Bin Laden news

obamas-oprah

Image Credit: George Burns/Harpo Studios

It was nothing more than a strange coincidence that just hours after President Barack Obama announced to the nation and the world that Osama bin Laden had been killed, his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show alongside wife First Lady Michelle Obama aired.

But the long-awaited episode – which hit airwaves today and had been scheduled for weeks despite some early criticism that the president and First Lady should not have taken time to visit Oprah Winfrey — took on a decidedly new tone. 

Before an excited introduction from a nervous — yes, nervous — Oprah (“Air Force One has landed in Chicagoooooo!” “Michelle Obaaaaaama!”) the host announced it was the first time a sitting president and First Lady appeared together on her show.

Although there were alerts throughout from ABC that the segment with the Obamas were “previously recorded,” last night’s historic turn of events made watching it feel somewhat different than it would have just a few days ago.

Case in point, during the chat the First Lady told Winfrey and her audience, “[Barack] can keep his eye on the prize in the midst of some craziness. That’s what makes him a special leader.” In another moment, Mrs. Obama told her that over Easter weekend, she had a dinner planned for their daughters Sasha and Malia, but President Obama had “other stuff to do.”

Even more relevant, the president shared again that he would be running for a second term in 2012. Said the First Lady of their joint decision to run again, “It’s an honor and its a duty. We take this responsibility very seriously — if there are things we can continue to do and I think this president has a lot more to get done.”

One of the major topics that came up during the interview was that of the controversial birth certificate debate that was recently re-launched by, among other skeptics, Donald Trump. The president said he felt “the line between entertainment and politics has been blurred,” adding, “reality TV is seeping into our politics.”

While the president never directly addressed Trump or others by name (he did again pull out the term “carnival barkers”), he did note that he tried to take it in stride — “I knew I’d been born [in Hawaii], I remembered it” — but noted Michelle was not nearly as okay with the questioning from the birthers. The president also discussed that one of his biggest regrets thus far has been not being able to change Washington’s “splintered” tone, but told Winfrey he still thinks he can with more time.

Obama stated that he wanted to change the overall shift in the feeling of the “American dream.” He explained: “The American dream is slipping away. I want people to once again feel like, ‘If I’m working hard and doing the right thing, opportunity is right there for me to grab.’”

Other tidbits we learned about the Obamas during their Oprah visit: Barack’s favorite president is Abraham Lincoln; he served as an assistant basketball coach for his daughter’s team; he can’t dance; Michelle has a strong bond with Elmo from her many visits to Sesame Street; misses shopping at Target; and shared her secrets to a long marriage (it’s “a true partnership.”)

It was a mostly low-key chat with the president and the First Lady, but ultimately turned out to be a charming and overly positive one. From their family anecdotes (a tired Sasha and Malia sitting on the floor of the Sistene Chapel) to political conversations, it wasn’t a groundbreaking hour of television, but it did have an overall feeling of, for lack of a better word, hope.

What did you think of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s interview with Oprah Winfrey?

Comments (105 total) Add your comment
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  • Brad

    No matter what anyone says, Barack means well and cares about this country. Even Jimmy Carter, a president few would say is worthy of praise (at least while he was in office), cared deeply about the US and that is something to have hope in.

    • Mr. Geller

      We should be applauding Jim Phelps and his Impossible Mission Force for supplying the intelligence President Obama needed to execute this assassination plot. Phelps’s next mission will be to retrieve bin laden’s body for positive identification. Message will self-destruct in 5 seconds, good luck Jim.

    • Rose

      I agreed with you Brad. President Obama does care about our country, like President Carter. We, as citizens of this great nation, should applaud the President for extending his vision of hope for a better society for “all” of us.

    • Sam

      And Michelle Obama is one of the hottest first ladies we’ve had in a looong time.

      • Terry Randolph

        Wow, you should really get out more.

      • Chrome

        Terry Randolph has a crush on Laura Bush.

      • James

        Not only hot, they are the smartest coolest couple we have seen in this lifetime! Not even a close second!

    • wolfspiritdreamwalker

      I dissagree with anyone who says Obama means well. He knows his policies are not good for the country but he wants to be a dictator.

      • dominique

        KICK ROCKS…………………

  • Mon

    Wow, he had “other stuff to do.”

    • Paul

      She didnt know what it was. She didnt know he was giving the ok to kill Osama. That man is cool under pressure!

      • Barry

        He’s a KILLER.

  • Brigette

    Classy folks. That was my take. I don’t think the timing of this was planned or contrived. How could it have been? They’ve been trying to get Osama for ten years. How could they have known that it would work and coordinate that with the Oprah Winfrey show? Seriously.

  • Mac

    I don’t get why people think Obama is a bad person. He seems like a good guy, even if he isn’t accomplishing as much as I would like him to.

    I wish he was make less concessions with the opposite party… but who knows, maybe it allows him to get other things done. I believe the rich in this country very protected, at the expense of the middle class and I hope he does something about it. Republicans will complain about Bin Laden’s capture, some idiotic nitpick underlining the party’s mean, corrupted spirit.

  • Layla

    I’m not a Republican, I’ll start out with that, but couldn’t he be doing something more important than being on Oprah. Yeah He got Bin Laden, but the CIA and SEALS did that all he did was sign the papers. In this age of astronomical gas prices, food prices, and weather related turmoil he could have been doing something much more productive.

    • Barry

      I agree!

      • Mike

        Oh Layla and “Barry,” how ignorant you are.

    • Stu

      Yeah, I’m thinking if he only worked that half a day instead of taking time to tape the Oprah Show, all of America’s problems would have been solved. I can’t fathom why some people expect one man to solve in two and a half years all of the problems it took an entire governments’ worth of people several decades to create. And you really expect him to do something to prevent weather related disasters? You must think he’s some kind of a god. He’s doing all he can to help victims of the recent tornado disasters short of picking up a shovel to move debris. Be realistic.

      • Rose

        Stu…I am in total agreement with your statement. America on the brink of another “Great Depression” then President Obama elected, and over night every thing is fixed. Hmmm! How does that work?! Realistic is a good word!

    • calyx

      Why is it that Republicans always start their criticism of the current administration off with a disclaimer?

    • Victoria Magaldi

      I agree!!! But how dare you say anything bad against Obama. Surprised your comment wasn’t pulled.

    • Mellissa

      Jeez, I can’t believe that Obama couldn’t stop the tornadoes. As if Prince William wasn’t bad enough for daring to get married, Obama was worse for daring to tape Oprah a few weeks ago.

    • diamond

      maybe he anit want to u goof

    • mmlilting

      Layla, President Obama did a lot more than “just sign the papers!” Do you remember George W. Bush saying that his top priority was getting bin Laden? But as years went by and he didn’t nab him, Bush went from “resolved” to sour grapes, finally stating before he left office that he didn’t “care” where bin Laden was!! Enter President Obama who had promised on the campaign trail to do all he could to get the man who killed all those unarmed civilians merely going about their day at the Twin Towers on 9/11. True to his word, President Obama dramatically increased the resources already in place to find bin Laden. And relatively early in HIS Presidency his dedication worked.

    • Teiara

      if you read what it said the episode was filmed before the killing of osama bin laden.it just happend to be aired after his killing. gess people read!!!!

  • Amy

    It was an honor to work on his campaign in 2008. I’ve never felt compelled to ever volunteer politically before. Clearly it’s been his time. Not an easy job for anyone. He’s right, much more to do though.

  • Tanya S.

    Seriously… he needs to go run the country rather than get his glory time on Oprah. There is a reason no other President has been on Oprah….they had better things to do!

    • Rick

      Like…play golf? Or hang out on the ranch riding horses? Maybe sailing. Sorry, Obama, no day off for you!

      • jules

        Nice, Rick!!

    • Mimi

      That is not true. Bush, the younger one, was in Oprah’s show no more than 2-3 weeks ago. Didn’t you see it?! Bill Clinton also has been in her show. How come you don’t know?! You seem to know a lot, Jules is it?

    • Thomas

      President Obama is wise to maintain a personable, public image while in office. I’d rather he spend time speaking to the American people and the world via an Oprah appearance than vacationing and golfing week after week after week like some past presidents I know.

    • topher

      If you can read the article carefully you will see that it says this is the first time a President and First Lady have been on the show together. Other Presidents and First Ladies have been on. W. was on Oprah during his presidency and Clinton was too.

    • sandy

      Being on Oprah is the modern day version of the Fireside chats…It isn’t/wasn’t glory so much as chatting with the citizens. I thought it was goodfor Bush & I think it’s good for Obama..Rules apply both ways.

  • ben

    obama can do no wrong. he is a god among man and he can cure cancer in his sleep. he single handedly killed osama with his bare hands and then mounted him like a lion in the oval office. i agree with the other guy…he signed some papers and let the real men handle the rest. i’m still in shock he had the guts to do that. now, if you will excuse me, i have to go throw up from all the love on here.

    • Rose

      Ben…I hope that you feel better once you have released your anger and hate…I often wonder sometime where does hate stem from in some people.

      • Terry

        Oh go build an altar. Why some of you stand by this guy I just dont understand. A real man would have given credit to the people who have been at this since way before he was in office and to the military who’s life was on the line and serving their country. To Obama it was all about politics even though some of you dont want to admit it.

      • Just Me

        What speech were you watching. He gave ALL the credit to the troops. And to the poster who said all he did was sign and order..Umm did you expect him to go to Pakistan and shoot the guy himself. That’s what Presidents do..they make Executive Decisions for the people who are trained to do what they do. When Bush declared war all he did was sign a declaration of war.

      • ben

        rose, i will feel better once this celebrity chasing jackoff is out of office. it’s amazing how bent of shape you folks get when anyone DARES to question the ROCK STAR IN CHIEF. it’s amazing…he keeps the BUSH POLICIES and you think he is doing some groundbreaking work. the things you were screaming over that bush was doing, obama is now doing the SAME EXACT THING. i don’t see any of your bleeding hearts screaming for HIM to be tried as a war criminal.

    • maine

      Pretty much the same way every single President has authorized other similar attacks, war or invasions. Did you, perhaps, want President Obama to suit up, go take care of it himself and then come announce it on live TV? Did you think that President Bush went into Baghdad and pulled down the statue of Saddam? Bet you lauded his bravery…

    • kim

      I think people just do not think. How can a president go and kill or capture someone himself. Lets be smart. He gave the orders and the correct people respond that is the job of a president. This country can not run itself and people need to stop the prejudice because that is what this comes to and just live a life of unit. Which will never happen no matter who is president. This country was in a down fall before him and more than likely will be after him. It takes time to clean up mess from others.

  • too funny

    I find it funny how they “stress” that the girls will know how to take care of themselves, but they keep giving hand outs to the country. Keeping the country crippled by needing more hand outs. PRACTICE what you preach! Make the country learn to take care of itself. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

    • Leanne

      What do you think the stimulus package and Pell Grants did for million of Americans? The stimulus package provided thousands of construction and infrastructure jobs to blue collar workers, and the Pell Grants gave many low-income students the opportunity to go to college.

  • It’s Me …..And

    You guys that have mean things to say ….Just grow up & get a LIFE. I don’t care what kind of job you have,everyone needs sometime to them selves to do what they want to do. And if thats what they wanted to do ….go on the Oprea show ….than YOU go be the president !!!!!!!! So you can get everything done right & if not than SHUT UP !!!!!!

  • It’s Me …..And

    Typo…….Oprah Show

    • Terry

      That’s why we have freedom of speech you idiot. If you dont want to hear it then dont listen, go do something else, exercise your freedom but dont try to limit someone else’s freedom. Do you really think other’s wont express their opinion’s just because you dont want to hear them?

  • sharon

    It was a great show. It showed the family side of them. Normal people with great responsibility.

  • Marc R

    It’s incredible how much harsh criticism there is of President Obama, who chose to fly to Chicago for the Oprah show. He probably got more work done, on Airforce One, than most people get done in a week. He’s always running the country, and that includes gaining the popular support of the American People. Kudos to Oprah for having them. And, Kudos to President Obama and the First Lady for showing a side of themselves that is human, kind and compassionate. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Irene

      Very well said. I can’t believe some of the idiotic postings here that insinuate that because he was on Oprah, he wasn’t doing his job. I love Obama.

  • taw

    Great shoe. I applaud them for going on and beig accessible to the people, not afraid to show a human side despite the job. I have a great respect for him because he walked into a really bad situation and has done a great job. We will continue to see that in the coming months if we open our eyes and realize how far we have come from 2008.

  • Thad

    Class act!! It’s so nice to have a President that speaks in complete sentences.

    • deedeedragons

      LOL!

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