The Telegraph
Saturday , March 16 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Michelle reminds me of order: Obama

March 15: Michelle Obama has been revealed as the whirlwind organising force behind her husband, the US President, training him to pick up his clothes, show up regularly to family dinners and updating his disastrous 20-year-old wardrobe.

“What Michelle has done is to remind me every day of the virtues of order,” Obama told Vogue magazine, sitting alongside his wife. “Being on time. Hanging up your clothes. Being intentional about planning time with your kids.”

Obama has been criticised for not doing enough socialising around Washington, but the couple said the combination of the “stresses and the pressures” of the White House had led them to prefer to spending free time with their daughters, Malia and Sasha, now 14 and 11.

“Our job is, first and foremost, to make sure our family is whole. You know, we have small kids; they’re growing every day,” said Michelle Obama, “But I think we were both pretty straightforward when we said, ‘Our number one priority is making sure that our family is whole.’”

The Obamas have been renowned for protecting their family time in a world where even their Valentine’s Day dinner is shadowed by a vanload of reporters from the White House press pool.

Last weekend Obama twice shuttled back and forth to a basketball competition Sasha was playing in, and the couple insisted their family suppers were really no different from anyone else’s.

“Ninety per cent of our conversation is about these girls: What are they doing? And who’s got what practice? And what birthday party is coming up? And did we get a gift for this person?” the First Lady said in excerpts from the April issue.

Obama said his slightly chaotic personal habits could probably be traced back to his upbringing, which he contrasted to Michelle’s. “Michelle grew up in a model nuclear family: mom, dad, brother. I had this far-flung family.”