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TRANSCRIPT: Michelle Obama Answers Kids' Calls to NORAD Seeking Santa's Whereabouts

While President Obama and his daughters enjoyed a day at the beach on vacation in Hawaii, first lady Michelle Obama stayed behind to answer calls about Santa's whereabouts as part of the "NORAD Tracks Santa" program.

Obama answered calls starting around 5 p.m. ET from children trying to find out the location of the Jolly Old Elf on Christmas Eve. NORAD coordinated incoming phone calls and directed them to Obama, who introduced herself to the callers.

When asked for Santa's location, she consulted the NORAD Santa Route Schedule and gave that information to the child callers. The first lady answered calls for about 40 minutes.

The following is a transcript of her conversations.

OPERATOR: We have Max.

MRS. OBAMA: Hello, this is the First Lady, Michelle Obama, with NORAD, tracking Santa. How can I help you?

MAX: Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi. What's your name?

MAX: Max.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Max. How old are you?

MAX: Eight.

MRS. OBAMA: Eight? Okay, well, this is the First Lady. And I'm helping them track Santa tonight, so how can I help you? You want to know where Santa is?

MAX: I live in Los Angeles.

MRS. OBAMA: You live in Los Angeles? Have you been a good boy this year?

MAX: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: I'm sure you have, Max, right?

MAX: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: I know you have. Well, you know where Santa is right now? Right now I'm looking at the radar and I see a big, bright light. Santa is moving pretty fast, and right now he is in Johannesburg, South Africa. That's what the radar says. He sees him and he's got a sleigh full of toys. So pretty exciting, right?

MAX: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Yes. Well, it's important, Max, that you know that Santa only comes after boys and girls have gone to sleep, no matter where he is in the world. So Santa won't be at your house until you're fast asleep, okay?

MAX: Would you want to talk to Alex?

MRS. OBAMA: Is Alex your brother?

MAX: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Hello, Alex.

MAX: He's right here.

MRS. OBAMA: I'd love to talk to Alex.

ALEX: Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Alex. How old are you?

ALEX: Seven.

MRS. OBAMA: You're seven? Well, this is the First Lady, and I'm helping NORAD, and they track Santa. And I just told your brother, Max, that right now Santa's sleigh is over South Africa -- Johannesburg, South Africa. That's where the sleigh is. The radar has got him.

ALEX: (Giggle.)

MRS. OBAMA: Okay? But you've got to go to sleep before Santa gets to your house, okay?

ALEX: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. You promise? Well, merry Christmas, sweetie, all right?

ALEX: Merry Christmas. Bye.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, bye-bye. Say merry Christmas to your family, okay? All right. Good night. Sleep tight. Don't forget to leave your cookies.

OPERATOR: Mrs. Obama, I'm going to be connecting you with Colin, Anna, and Evan.

MRS. OBAMA: Hello, this is the First Lady, Michelle Obama. I'm working with NORAD to help track Santa. How can I help you guys?

COLIN: We want to know where Santa is.

MRS. OBAMA: You want to know where Santa is? Well, let me take a look. Hold on a second, I'm going to look at the radar screen, okay? Ooh, I see him. Right now Santa's sleigh is flying over Africa. He's flying over Africa. Now, more specifically, he's in Namibia. Now, you can ask your parents where Namibia is. You can look on the map. But he moves from place to place. He's only there for a couple of minutes. So he's right now over Namibia in Africa. Okay? So you guys, it's important to know that Santa won't get to your house until you're fast asleep. Okay? No matter where he is in the world -- he goes all over the place, but he doesn't come to your house until every child is asleep. Okay?

COLIN: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. So make sure you leave your cookies out and some vegetables for the reindeer, okay?

COLIN: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Have a merry Christmas and be good.

COLIN: Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: Merry Christmas, everybody.

COLIN AND ANNA AND EVAN: Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA: Take care.

OPERATOR: I'm going to connect you to Ailene. And her father's name is Lou.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, this is the First Lady, Michelle Obama. I'm helping out with NORAD tonight. Is Ailene -- is she ready to find his position? Hello?

AILENE: Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Ailene. How old are you?

AILENE: Six.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, this is the First Lady, Michelle Obama. And I'm helping NORAD track Santa. Do you want to know where he is right now?

AILENE: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay. I'm looking at the radar screen Oh, we've got him. Do you know where he is? He's over Africa -- specifically Gabon. Now, you're going to have to ask your dad exactly where Gabon is, but it's in Africa. So right now we see a bright light and all the pilots here are pretty confident that it is Santa. And his sleigh looks very full -- full of toys. So I hope you were a good girl. Were you a good girl this year?

AILENE: Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Well, make sure you go to bed so he'll get to your house, okay?

AILENE: Thank you. Bye.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, bye-bye. Merry Christmas.

OPERATOR: We have the next caller on the phone. I'm going to be connecting you with Trevin and Tegan.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, this is First Lady, Michelle Obama. I'm helping NORAD track Santa tonight. How are you?

TREVIN: Good.

MRS. OBAMA: How can I help you? Do you guys want to know where Santa is?

TREVIN: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, hold on, let me check the radar. Oh, okay, they've got him. They're spotting him. Right now he is flying over Africa -- the Central African Republic of Bombari. And it looks like his sleigh is pretty full of toys. And they can see a little red light and it looks like Rudolph might be guiding the sleigh tonight. Have you guys been good this year?

TREVIN: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Well, it looks like he's got a lot of toys, but you do know that Santa only comes to your house after every child has gone to sleep. They have to be fast asleep before he'll come, no matter where he is in the world. Okay?

TREVIN: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, well, you make sure -- are you going to leave your cookies out for Santa and some vegetables for the reindeer? All right, that sounds good. Well, tell your whole family merry Christmas. And I hope Santa brings you everything you want. Okay? Merry Christmas. Bye.

OPERATOR: Mrs. Obama, I have Tyson on the line.

MRS. OBAMA: Hello, this is First Lady Michelle Obama. I'm helping NORAD track Santa tonight. How can I help you?

TYSON: Well, we just wanted to know where Santa lives at -- where he's at right now.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, I can help you with that. There's a huge radar -- I'm going to look on the radar plot to see where he is. Oh, okay, we've spotted him. He is flying over Africa right now -- Cameroon, to be specific. He's right over the country of Cameroon in Africa. Where are you from?

TYSON: We're in -- Alaska

MRS. OBAMA: Wow, that's pretty exciting. Well, you do know that Santa only comes to your house after all the kids are fast asleep, no matter where he is in the world. So you have to make sure you get a good night's sleep tonight, all right?

TYSON: yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Have you been good this year?

TYSON: Yes.

 

MRS. OBAMA: Okay. Well, you should have a great Christmas when you wake up in the morning, okay?

TYSON: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: Tell your family merry Christmas, all right?

TYSON: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: And have fun tomorrow.

TYSON: Thanks, Mrs. Obama.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay. Good night, sweetie.

OPERATOR: Mrs. Obama, I have Sean and his mother Lisa waiting to speak to you.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi.

LISA: Hi. Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: Merry Christmas. How are you?

LISA: Great. How is Hawaii?

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, it's beautiful. It's beautiful.

LISA: I wish I was there.

MRS. OBAMA: Where are you?

LISA: We're in Colorado Springs.

MRS. OBAMA: You guys don't have snow, right?

LISA: Oh, no.

MRS. OBAMA: That's okay.

LISA: It's going to be a sunny Christmas this year.

MRS. OBAMA: Santa gets wherever he's got to go, right? (Laughter.)

LISA: He does, that's right. So I'm with my son.

MRS. OBAMA: I would love to talk to him.

LISA: That would be great. Hang on one moment. I wish your family a merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: Same to you. You guys enjoy.

SEAN: Hello.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Sean. It's Mrs. Obama. How are you?

SEAN: Good.

MRS. OBAMA: What can I do for you?

SEAN: I just wanted to know where Santa was.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, well, I'm right by the radar screen and right now it looks like Santa is flying over Africa. Pretty amazing.

SEAN: Yeah, that's cool.

MRS. OBAMA: The radar shows that it looks like the vehicle is being pulled by all nine reindeer and it's pretty full of toys. And to be specific, it's over Chad, the country of Chad. So pretty exciting. He's moving at a pretty good clip. The weather looks good, so there shouldn't be any problems with him getting the toys around.

SEAN: That's really cool. I can't wait for him to get to my house.

MRS. OBAMA: Yes. Have you been good this year?

SEAN: Yes. I got an email from Santa this year.

MRS. OBAMA: You got an email from Santa? Well, he's really moving up. He's pretty high-tech now.

SEAN: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, the important thing to remember is that he doesn't come to your house until you're fast asleep, no matter where he is in the country. So you've got to make sure you get a good night's sleep. Leave out your cookies and some vegetables for the reindeer and you should be good to go.

SEAN: Do you know about what time he's going to be here?

MRS. OBAMA: You know, he doesn't -- from what I understand from the people at NORAD who've tracked him for centuries, they say he kind of pops all over the country, all over the world. There's no real clear pattern. So it depends on when kids go to sleep. If you go to sleep and you're out in a couple hours, he might pop over your house right now. But you've got to be asleep. You've got to make sure you get a good night's sleep, okay?

SEAN: Okay. Thank you so much.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Well, merry Christmas, sweetie.

SEAN: Merry Christmas to you, too.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay. Have fun tomorrow.

SEAN: Okay. Thank you. Bye.

MRS. OBAMA: Bye-bye.

OPERATOR: We have Seth on the line. I'm going to be connecting you.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Seth. This is the First Lady, Michelle Obama. I'm helping NORAD track Santa tonight. How can I help you?

SETH: I wonder where Santa is.

MRS. OBAMA: You want to know where he is? Well, I'm going to look on the radar right now. Oh, you know where he is? He's flying over Africa right now. And the radar is showing that there's a glowing object and they've got a lock on that object. They can confirm that it is, in fact, Santa's sleigh. And it looks like all nine reindeer are pulling the sleigh, and it looks like the sleigh -- this is good news -- is completely full of toys. Pretty exciting. So have you been a good boy this year?

SETH: Is Rudolph on there?

MRS. OBAMA: Yes. Yes, Rudolph is pulling the sleigh. They can see -- they see a little flickering red light and they know that's Rudolph. So Rudolph is there. Santa is making his way. You've got to make sure you get a good night's sleep tonight, okay, because he doesn't come to your house until you're asleep, okay?

SETH: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Have you been good this year?

SETH: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Well, it's going to be a great day for you tomorrow.

SETH: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay. Make sure you leave the cookies out for Santa, okay?

SETH: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Have a very, very merry Christmas. And tell your whole family merry Christmas, okay?

SETH: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Good night, sweetie.

SETH: Bye.

MRS. OBAMA: Bye-bye.

OPERATOR: Mrs. Obama, I have Austin on the line.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi. Is this Austin?

AUSTIN: Hello.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Austin. This is the First Lady, Michelle Obama. I'm helping NORAD track Santa tonight. How can I help you?

AUSTIN: Can I ask you a few questions about being the First Lady?

MRS. OBAMA: Absolutely. What can I tell you?

AUSTIN: Is it a hard job?

MRS. OBAMA: You know, it is not as hard as being the President. My job is fun because I get to do stuff like this. I get to come to NORAD and look at the radar and help them track Santa. I get to work with kids like you guys and help make sure they're staying healthy. So it's a fun job. Thanks for asking.

AUSTIN: Is it hard to have all that security around you?

MRS. OBAMA: No, because the security -- the Secret Service, they're really professional and they're really nice guys. So they're fun. They're good with the girls. So they're not -- they do their jobs, but they're really nice guys. It's almost like they're family after a while. So it's not that hard having them around. And they're there to keep us safe, right? You can't be mad at that, right?

AUSTIN: Right.

MRS. OBAMA: What else do you want to know?

AUSTIN: Is it hard to like be married to the President?

MRS. OBAMA: No, he's a pretty good guy. I mean, it's a tough job and sometimes you want to do everything you can to help him, but it's pretty easy being married to him. He's kind of funny -- fun to hang out with.

AUSTIN: Okay, cool.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Do you want to know where Santa is?

AUSTIN: Please.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Hold on, let me look at the radar. Okay, it looks like -- all right, they've got a lock on a glowing object and they can confirm that it is in fact Santa's sleigh. It's over Africa right now -- Algeria, Africa. And they can see from here that it's pretty full of toys. Pretty full. So hopefully you've been good this year. But Santa is not going to come to your house until you go to sleep.

AUSTIN: Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: Merry Christmas, sweetie. Take care.

AUSTIN: All right. Bye-bye.

MRS. OBAMA: Bye-bye.

OPERATOR: I'm connecting you to Jayna and her mother, Jill.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, this is Michelle Obama. How are you guys doing?

JAYNA: Good.

MRS. OBAMA: Great. Well, I have the best job on Christmas Eve. I'm helping them track Santa tonight. How can I help you guys? Do you want to know where Santa is?

JAYNA: Where is Santa?

MRS. OBAMA: Hold on, let me look at the radar. Oh, my goodness, they spotted a glowing light -- they can confirm that it is Santa. And he's flying over Italy. And it's Sicily to be precise. Maybe your mom can look on a map and show you where Sicily, Italy is. And you know what else they can see? They can confirm that they see a glowing object -- it is Rudolph's bright red nose. Oh, it's so cool. And they can see that the sleigh looks really full of toys. Pretty exciting.

JAYNA: That's good.

MRS. OBAMA: Have you been good this year?

JAYNA: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: You've been good? That's great! Well, I know you're going to have a great Christmas tomorrow, sweetie. But you know Santa won't come to your house until you're fast asleep, so you've got to be asleep, okay?

JAYNA: Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA: Merry Christmas, sweetie. You guys have a wonderful holiday. You all take care.

JAYNA: Bye.

MRS. OBAMA: Bye-bye.

OPERATOR: I've got Morgan, Vanessa, Valerie and Ryan on the line.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, a big crew. All right.

OPERATOR: Okay, gang, you're connected with Mrs. Obama.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, everybody. This is Michelle Obama. I get to help NORAD track Santa tonight. How can I help you? What do you need to know?

MORGAN: Could you look at Montgomery, Illinois?

MRS. OBAMA: Wonderful! You want to know where Santa is now?

MORGAN: We want to know when he's going to be to Montgomery.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, you know, there's no specific time that he gets to a place. He only comes to a child's house after every child in the house is fast asleep. But right now the radar is showing that he is flying over Italy -- Rome, to be precise. And it looks like his sleigh is full of toys.

MORGAN: Has he been to a lot of places already?

MRS. OBAMA: Already, since I've been on the call he has flown over several parts of Africa. He's flown over Johannesburg, Gabon, Nigeria, and he's just moved into Europe. So right now he's right over Rome. So it looks like he's making his way. But what the NORAD team tells me is that he zips around the country -- it's not clear what country he goes to first. I think he goes to whatever houses that the kids are asleep, gets it done and then moves on. But right now he's in Italy. And this is a pretty sophisticated tracking system. They say he flies at unbelievable speeds to do this. But it looks like the weather is clear and they don't believe that there will be any problem with Santa completing all of his tasks by Christmas morning.

But make sure everybody in the house gets a good night's sleep, they've got their cookies out and veggies out for the reindeer. Sound good?

DAD: We have some really well-behaved kids here.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, then that's an easy one, right, because when kids have had a great year, Santa -- he's more than excited to come to that house.

DAD: We wish the President merry Christmas also.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, I will definitely let him know. And we wish you guys a very, very merry Christmas.

VANESSA: Tell Malia and Sasha, too.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, thank you. I'm going to make sure they get that message. I'm going to see them in a few minutes. And they wish you guys a merry Christmas. And I'm just so proud that you have a house full of great kids, because we work hard for great kids like you guys. All right.

VANESSA: I even got them a present.

MRS. OBAMA: That's excellent. That's very generous. That is even more special. So you guys are going to have a great day tomorrow and you've earned it.

MORGAN AND VANESSA AND VALERIE AND RYAN: Thank you!

MRS. OBAMA: Merry Christmas. You all take care of each other. Bye-bye.

OPERATOR: I have Juliana.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi. This is the First Lady. I'm helping NORAD track Santa. Is Juliana there?

JULIANA: Yes. Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, sweetie. How old are you?

JULIANA: Eight.

MRS. OBAMA: You're eight. Wow! You're one year younger than Sasha. This is so exciting. She's bouncing off the walls. I know you are, too.

JULIANA: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Do you want to know where Santa is right now?

JULIANA: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, I'm looking at the radar. It's a big, huge radar -- and it looks like Santa is flying over Croatia, a part of Europe, right now. But they can tell from this radar that -- it looks like all nine reindeer are pulling the sleigh tonight, including Rudolph. And it looks like the sleigh is extremely full. So that's pretty exciting.

JULIANA: Is Rudolph leading the way?

MRS. OBAMA: Yes, he's leading the way, leading the way. And they're moving at unbelievable speed. So they're predicting that Santa is going to be able to make all of his deliveries by Christmas morning.

JULIANA: Great.

MRS. OBAMA: Have you been good this year?

JULIANA: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Excellent.

JULIANA: We got to open our presents because we weren't going to be at one of our family's houses for Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: We do that sometimes, too. Sometimes we open some early, sometimes we open some later. We do the same thing.

JULIANA: What Mommy gave me we got to open tonight.

MRS. OBAMA: Yes, what Santa gives you -- you get when Santa delivers them. That's just how we do it.

JULIANA: We're going to open presents tomorrow at my other friend's house.

MRS. OBAMA: That's exciting. What's the thing you're most excited to get tomorrow?

JULIANA: My MP-3 player.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, you sound just like Sasha. Same thing.

JULIANA: I got one today.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, man! Well, you're racking up. You must have been really good this year.

JULIANA: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, that's great. But you've got to go to sleep because Santa doesn't come until you're fast asleep, okay?

JULIANA: I'm sleeping on the couch tonight.

MRS. OBAMA: You're sleeping on the couch? Well, it doesn't matter where you sleep. You just have to be asleep, okay?

SISTER: Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, it's good to talk to you. Have you been good this year?

SISTER: I've been awesome. (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: Well, then you should have no problems tomorrow morning, right?

SISTER: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, that's great. Just keep being awesome, all right? We need a lot of awesome kids out there, okay?

SISTER: Yes, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay. You all take care and merry Christmas to your whole family and all your friends that you're going to see. Tell them the First Lady said merry Christmas.

JULIANA AND HER SISTER: Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, you all take care. Bye-bye.

OPERATOR: Mrs. Obama, I've got Brandi and her son, Hunter, on the phone.

MRS. OBAMA: Hello. Hi. This is the First Lady, Michelle Obama. Who am I speaking to?

HUNTER: Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi. How are you? What's your name?

HUNTER: I'm good.

MRS. OBAMA: You're good? What's your name?

HUNTER: Hunter.

MRS. OBAMA: Hunter? How old are you, Hunter?

HUNTER: Four.

MRS. OBAMA: Four! All right. Have you been good this year?

HUNTER: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Do you want to know where Santa is flying over right now?

HUNTER: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: I'm looking at the radar screen. They spotted a glowing object -- it is flying right now over a place called Slovakia. And they say it looks like the sleigh is being pulled by all nine reindeer including Rudolph, and that -- oh, they can see, they say the sleigh looks extremely full of toys. Pretty exciting, right?

HUNTER: Yes. I want for Christmas a skateboard and -- I

MRS. OBAMA: Yes. What else?

HUNTER: (inaudible.)

MRS. OBAMA: Okay. Well, you know what, Santa doesn't come to your house until after you're fast asleep, okay? So you've got to go to bed and get a good night's sleep, close your eyes tight and dream good thoughts, okay?

HUNTER: Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Merry Christmas, sweetie.

HUNTER: Merry Christmas.

OPERATOR: We have Savanna and Alexis for your last call.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, this is the First Lady, Michelle Obama. I'm working with NORAD to help track Santa. How are you guys doing?

SAVANNA: Good.

MRS. OBAMA: How old are you all?

SAVANNA: Nine and five.

MRS. OBAMA: Nine and five? Have you been good this year?

SAVANNA AND ALEXIS: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Excellent. Excellent. Well, let me look at the radar and I'm going to check right now where they -- oh, my goodness. They spotted a glowing object. It looks like he's -- he's flying over Austria right now. And they're telling me that the sleigh is pretty full and it's being pulled by all nine reindeer including Rudolph. And they're moving really fast. The good news -- they say the weather is all clear all around the world and that Santa is not going to have any problems delivering toys this evening. Pretty exciting! What did you guys ask for, for Christmas?

SAVANNA: I asked for a cell phone.

MRS. OBAMA: A cell phone. What else? Anything else?

SAVANNA: (inaudible)

MRS. OBAMA: Yes? Well, since you guys have been so good this year I'm sure you're going to have a great morning. But you know what, Santa doesn't come to your house until every child is fast asleep, okay?

ALEXIS: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. So you've got to make sure you get a good night's sleep. Have you left cookies out for Santa?

ALEXIS: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: And did you leave something out for the reindeer, too?

SAVANNA: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, well, you're set. You can get a good night's sleep and wake up in the morning and it's going to be Christmas! Isn't that exciting?

SAVANNA: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Well, you guys have a merry Christmas and get a good night's sleep, okay?

SAVANNA: Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Bye-bye, sweetie.

END 12:38 P.M. HST