Oprah Talks to the Obamas
MO: Pizza night.
BO: Pizza around here is pretty great.
MO: Everything around here is handmade by everybody.
O: Can you order out here?
MO: We haven't tried to.
O: No need.
MO: We don't bring home doggie bags, either.
O: Okay, next—the song that makes you turn up your radio or iPod.
MO: There are so many; right now it's "So Fly," by Elle Varner.
O: Get out.
MO: I'm sorry. Malia turned me on to her. I love that song. [To the president] What about you?
BO: Anything by Stevie Wonder—"Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing," because I can sing the whole thing verbatim.
O: All right. What's your other hidden talent?
BO: The problem is, our talents are no longer hidden. Like Michelle's hula-hooping...
O: Or double Dutch...
BO: I'm a pretty good pool player now. We have a pool table here, so I've been honing my skills. I may enter some contests after the presidency.
O: I know this doesn't apply to you now, but perhaps you can remember: a household chore that you know you're good at.
MO: For me, it's cleaning the bathrooms. That was my chore when I was younger. We had one bathroom for four people, and I could make it sparkle.
O: For the record, mine is stain removal, but anyway...
BO: Stain removal.
O: It excites me, to this day. Yup.
MO: [To the president] Now, what chore are you good at?
BO: Well, according to you, none. [All laugh.] But what I lack in skill I make up for in enthusiasm.
O: You never have to do a chore again once you come in here, though.
MO: Yeah, I'm thinking back.... You shoveled. You would shovel out the cars.
O: Shovel, okay.
MO: You'd always clean the snow off the cars.
BO: That was big. You try chipping some ice off some windshields when it's five below at 6 in the morning.
O: In Chicago, shoveling's big.
BO: Doing her car first.
O: All right, finish this sentence: "To my critics, I say..."
BO: To my critics I say, I'm not done yet.
O: [To Michelle] Do you have any critics, Miss Most Popular?
MO: You know, I don't think in those terms, I really don't. I'm always trying to give it 110 percent, and I'm always putting it all on the table.
O: Finish this sentence: "My vision for the world is..."
BO: We are going through historic times, and my vision is a world, first of all, in which America continues to be that one indispensable nation. Because we're taking care of our own people, because our economy is strong and our middle class is growing, and people feel like hard work is rewarded, and we are continuing to expand opportunity and diversity and tolerance and respect. If we do all those things, then I think we can continue to export those values around the world. And I do think that for all the pain and the heartache and tragedy that has happened, the human race continues to evolve. We're actually probably less violent now than at any time in history. Women are seeing their roles expand. There is less tolerance of racism or homophobia or child abuse than there was, even though obviously it still occurs. Michelle accuses me of being a congenital optimist, but it's true. I think people are capable of great evil but are fundamentally good. And I want America to continue to be on the side of expanding justice and freedom and opportunity so that Malia and Sasha, when they're raising their kids, will be able to look back and say this was one more turn in a better direction for humanity.
O: Final question: "What I know for sure is..."
BO: The thing I know for sure is that at the end of my life, what I'm going to remember is the love I felt for my family and my friends, and whatever good I did for other people. And it is interesting being in this office, because you see people from every walk of life. For us, who came from pretty modest backgrounds, we've seen highs and we've seen lows, rich people and poor people; we know what it's like to be famous and powerful and not so famous and powerful. And the one constant is hugging your kids, or sharing a laugh with your spouse, or knowing that you helped somebody at a time of need. Those are the things I'll remember. It'll be Michelle's laugh and Malia's smile, or some woman I met who said, "You helped me get through a tough time." It won't be the pomp and circumstance and titles and Air Force One.
MO: What I know for sure is that all the sacrifice and challenges we face are worth it if we're creating a better future for our kids. I just think if the adults are always thinking about the world we want to leave for our kids, we're going to make the right choices every single time.
BO: There you go.
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