Monday, October 4, 2010

A Presidential Wedding Anniversary

First Lady Michelle Obama once told an ABC interviewer that “"Barack didn't pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting.” A promise on which her husband, President Barack Obama, certainly came through.

The ultimate power couple celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary on Sunday, October 3rd at Camp David, where they also hosted a retreat for Cabinet members and their spouses.

The two met at a downtown Chicago law firm in 1989, when Michelle, a then associate at the firm, was assigned to be Obama’s mentor. Although Obama knew what he wanted from the very start, it reportedly took a month of persistence on his part, but he finally got Michelle to accept a date.

The pair went to the Art Institute before seeing the movie “Do the right thing,” and finished the date with a drink on the 99th floor of the John Hancock Building, at which point Michelle said she was sold.

Then in 1991, Obama, who had repeatedly argued that the institution of marriage was meaningless, surprised Michelle with an engagement ring over dinner. Reportedly, once the dishes were cleared, dessert was presented, and on her plate sat a box which contained her future engagement ring. The First Lady has recounted the story publically, stating that “He said, 'That kind of shuts you up, doesn't it?” She burst out laughing before she said yes.

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The couple exchanged wedding rings at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and held a reception at the South Shore Cultural Center, a former country club that once barred black Americans from joining.
Obama has credited Stevie Wonder for the success of his relationship in its early years, and once told People Magazine that if a shared love for the musician wasn’t there, Michelle never would have given him a chance. The couple danced to Stevie Wonder’s “You and I” for their first dance as husband and wife.

Although the First Couple has decided to lay low this year, their anniversary has sparked media interest since the couple came into the political limelight a few years ago. In 2008, despite being in the midst of his run for President, Obama was photographed picking up flowers for his anniversary, the photos of which reached Michelle before the actual bouquet did. Later that week Michelle visited “The Tonight show” and shared that she had told her husband that they could celebrate later, due to his hectic schedule at the time. “He says 'No, I'm coming home'...so he took me out for dinner," she told the audience.

Kelly Jo MacArthur, an associate at the law firm when the Obama’s met, told Chicago Magazine that there was always a certain something about the couple, and everyone knew that they were going to be more together than they would be apart.

The two have certainly proven that prediction to be right on the money: 18 years, two daughters, and one historical presidency later, they are still going strong and showing the world that their marriage is a true partnership of friendship and love. Happy Anniversary to First Lady Michelle and President Barack Obama.

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