As the final days of President Obama’s term comes to an end, we’re going to miss the bounty of endearing photos that come from his time in office. His charisma shines in the images captured by official White House photographer Pete Souza, who has also snapped pictures of the rest of the Obama family. From these photographs, it’s clear that the President and the First Lady are still as smitten as the day they first met. The Barack and Michelle Obama love story is both sweet and delightfully down to earth.
Like many people, Barack and Michelle were first acquainted at work. “I met Michelle in 1988,” Barack writes on Oprah.com, “after my first year of law school, when I took a summer job at Sidley & Austin, a law firm in Chicago.” She was assigned as his adviser and helped him “learn the ropes” at the company. “I remember being struck by how tall and beautiful she was,” he recalled. Over time, they got to know each other, and he asked her out. She refused, but he kept asking. “I’m your adviser,” she said. “It’s not appropriate.” When Barack offered to quit his job, she finally agreed. For their first date, they saw Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and ate ice cream afterwards.
Barack and Michelle’s early days look like many couples in love.
After dating for three years, the couple married in 1992. As Barack rose through the ranks of public office, their love was, and still is, continually in the spotlight. But whether it’s the early 90s or just last week, they continue to love and support one another; they know how to have fun, but aren’t afraid to deal with difficult moments together.
In 2016, Barack opened up about Michelle in her Vogue cover story. “Michelle never asked to be first lady. Like a lot of political spouses, the role was thrust upon her,” he explained. “But I always knew she’d be incredible at it and put her own unique stamp on the job. That’s because who you see is who she is—the brilliant, funny, generous woman who, for whatever reason, agreed to marry me.”
As time passes, their love and mutual respect continues to grow. At the Democratic National Convention in 2012, Michelle said, “And I didn’t think it was possible, but today, I love my husband even more than I did four years ago…even more than I did 23 years ago, when we first met.”
Just because the Obamas are leaving the White House doesn’t mean they’ll fade from the background. According to NPR, Barack intends to serve as a “coach” for up-and-coming liberal leaders.