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