'I don't pester Barack about policy when he walks through the door': Michelle Obama on what happens after a hard day at the White House
00:04 GMT, 9 October 2012
The First Lady has insisted that she never shares opinion on the President's policy with him, even if she has something to say.
In a new interview with ABC's Cynthia McFadden, Michelle Obama says she rarely even enters the West Wing of the White House, and is careful not to talk shop when her husband comes home.
'In a job like this, the last thing
the President of the United States needs when he walks in the door to
come home is someone drilling him and questioning him about the
decisions and choices that he's made.'
Seal of approval: Michelle Obama reveals that her husband would not have run for President if she was not happy with the idea in a new Nightline special
In the three-part Nightline series, which begins this evening, she continues: 'There are
definitely times when I may feel something, but I'll hold back because I
know he'll either get to that on his own or it's just not time.'
Her words hit back at critics who believe she may influence the President, but Mrs Obama insists that she lacks the necessary expertise to offer advice, and has her own set
of issues to focus on.
'I rarely step foot in the West Wing. In fact people are shocked when they see me there,' she says.
'I rarely walk in that office because the truth is he's got so many
wonderful advisers. He's got a phenomenal cabinet. He's got people who
are in the trenches on these issues every single day and I'm kind of
stepping in and out and I've got my own set of issues.'
'I rarely step foot in the West Wing. In fact people are shocked when they see me there'
The interview also sees Mrs Obama reveal that her husband would not have run for office if she had not given her OK.
In fact, it was her brother, Craig Robinson, who persuaded her to agree to the idea.
Mr Robinson, who is interviewed for the series, recalls Mr Obama's approach: 'He said to me, “You've got to do me a favor. You've got to talk to her because she is not gonna go for it.”
I said, “You're right. You're darn right she's not gonna go for it.”
'I eventually talked to her, and I said to Michelle you know, I said you cannot penalize Barack for being good at what he does.'
Perspective: Mrs Obama, pictured with her husband and her daughters Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, says she will give the girls a reality check if they ever complain that life is tough
Mrs Obama added: 'In the end, Barack, our family is priority for him, and I knew that if I said no he wouldn't do this. I had to think of whether I would want to be responsible for not
having somebody like Barack you know, someone with his level of
intellect, his honesty, his compassion, his vision. Would I want to be
the one who stood in the way of this person potentially running this
She also shed light on the kind of reality check she gives daughter Malia, 14, if there is ever a complaint about how tough it may be becoming a teenager in the White House.
'We point out, “Look around, you wanna see hardship You wanna see struggle You don't have it, kid.” So I think giving her some perspective on what tough is,' she said.
'Being 14 and having the President as your father is way down on the list of tough,'
The Nightline three-part series begins tonight
at 11:35pm ET