"Michelle has always had veto power over these kinds of decisions," the president says.
"I should use it more!" Mrs. Obama jokes.
"Was there ever a doubt that you would [run for re-election]?" Oprah asks.
Mrs. Obama answers, "This is an honor and it's a duty. We take this responsibility very seriously, and if there are things that we can continue to do—and I think this president has a lot more to get done—then we let the American people decide."
As with any election, partisan politics can sometimes distract both voters and nominees from the real issues. Yet, President Obama says he hopes for a respectful race in 2012. "What I want to do is make sure that it doesn't get personal and that the focus is where the focus should be, which is how to make the lives of the American people better," he says.
The president also says that he believes that improving Americans' lives is the intent of the Republican party as well. What the parties disagree on, he says, is how to do that. "I think it's very important to understand that we can disagree without questioning each other's intentions or patriotism," he says.
"Or citizenship," Mrs. Obama says.