Finding Normal; Michelle Obama's Life in Washington

More than a year after uprooting and moving their Chicago-based family to Washington, the Obamas have settled in nicely, says First Lady Michelle. She tells Fox affiliate WTTG in Washington that the best thing about living here is the people.

"Some of the best moments have been seeing them walk in those doors [at the White House]," she says. "Whether it's trick or treating for Halloween; seeing some of their faces. [For them] to walk along that front -- that North Portico and to come up and see the President handing out candy and feeling like 'I belong here' has been really important for our family."

From the beginning of Mr. Obama's tenure, the First Couple has said they intend to open the doors of the White House to average citizens. They have done just that, hosting people from around the country for a variety of events; whether it was the trick or treating or the time when Mrs. Obama surprised visitors touring the White House with a visit by her and First Dog Bo.

There are also the moments that ground Mrs. Obama, like the recent mass shooting in South East DC in which four people ultimately died. Mrs. Obama said she's all too familiar with that level of violence. "It's been in my city for a long time. You grow up on the South side of Chicago, you know, unfortunately, the stories of, you know, young kids getting gunned down is a part of life. And you never want to get too comfortable with it, but when it happens more and more, you know, you don't get used to it, but it exists." she said.

The Obamas spent their Easter Sunday morning just blocks from the tragic shooting, worshipping at Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Violence in cities around the country is a disappointingly a regular occurrence, Mrs. Obama said. "[L]iving here is just a reminder that these issues aren't unique to Chicago. They are happening all across this country and we need to make sure that our kids are protected, that they're getting the kind of education that they need, they have the opportunities to really see a life for themselves. When you see a possibility it makes it harder to do some of this short-term stuff that is so destructive."

As for the famously dubbed "well-adjusted" Obama girls, Malia and Sasha, life is the way it should be, normal. The First Lady said the Obamas strive to ensure that sense of normalcy is ever-present by creating an environment in the home that feels familiar to them; even if that home is the White House.

"We're still focused on their world. Even with a father who's in the midst of dealing with world crises, it's important sit down at the dinner table and have the first thing he does is to ask them about their day and actually sit and listen to it and ask questions and remember the friends' names and the teachers' names," Mrs. Obama said.

"You know, that's what makes kids feel like they're at the center of the universe. And I want that for my kids, but I want it for all these kids, which is why I want more kids here at the White House, so that they feel like they're really the center of this universe."

Family trips to DC's famous monuments are likely to aid in that. But the Michelle Obama advises the best time to visit these hot spots are when the crowds have cleared and the sun is long gone. "There's nothing like Washington at night, you know, when the sky is dark and you're standing in the middle of the Jefferson memorial and it is quiet and the wind is blowing. It's really profoundly beautiful."

Perhaps one of the more amusing changes to Mrs. Obama's life is the fame that comes with it.

Here she jokes about the motorcades that shuttle her and President Obama across town and what she would do if she could break away from that and steal a moment in public, unnoticed.


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