Part of being president and first lady and working to improve the lives of the American people, the Obamas say, is remaining connected to citizens across the United States—something that can be challenging while moving under the watchful eye of the Secret Service. The Obamas say it often feels like they live in a bubble.

"How, when you're living in the bubble, do you remain connected to ordinary people?" Oprah asks.

"There are a couple of things," the president says. "I get letters from constituents across the country every night, and I make sure to read them, and I respond to as many as I can. The stories folks tell are just incredibly powerful."

"The other thing that's important is that we get out," Mrs. Obama says. "For me, I've tried to really get out in my new community—Washington, D.C. I always tell my staff that I want to sit down with people. When I'm at a military facility, I don't want to just tour and get a [photograph]. I want to sit down off camera, talk to women, talk to our service members. Those conversations help fuel you."


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