Obama talks of `romance deficit` in White House
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Last Updated: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 17:39
  
New York: Being the first couple in the United States is extraordinary hard on romance if you believe President Barack Obama, who has expressed his irritation about the hoo-ha when he took his wife to New York on a date.

The US President said the criticism he received for whisking his wife up to Manhattan for dinner and a Broadway play was the single most annoying experience since arriving at the White House.

"People made it into a political issue," Obama told The New York Times magazine for an article about the Obamas' marriage, appearing in the Nov 1 issue.

"If I weren't president, I would be happy to catch the shuttle with my wife to take her to a Broadway show, as I had promised her during the campaign, and there would be no fuss and no muss and no photographers," he said, adding "That would please me greatly".

Trying to be a good husband, he kept a campaign promise to take Michelle to New York after the election for one of their "date nights" – dinner and a Broadway play.

Conservative critics cried foul over the security and transportation costs for the May trip, which was footed by taxpayers.

"The notion that I just couldn't take my wife out on a date without it being a political issue was not something I was happy with," Obama was quoted as saying by the NY Daily News.

The first African American President said what he values most about his marriage is that it is "separate and apart from a lot of the silliness of Washington."

"And Michelle is not part of that silliness," he said. The article explores the effects of the presidency on the couple's 17-year union and revisits well-documented tension between them in earlier years when Obama pursued his political career in Illinois, leaving his wife largely home alone in Chicago with their daughters.

It also looks into her roles in the presidential campaign and in the White House, the report said.

Michelle said there was no "flawless relationship" and it is "the last thing we want to project".

"The strengths and challenges of our marriage don't change because we move to a different address," she said, adding "the bumps" happen to everybody all the time, "and they are continuous".

Bureau Report


First Published: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 17:39


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