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Michelle Obama

“…I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.”

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source: “A Couple in Chicago,” interview by Mariana Cook, The New Yorker, January 19, 2009.

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notes: Interview originally conducted on May 26, 1996 by Mariana Cook, who visited the Obamas in Hyde Park as part of a photography project on couples in America.

“President Obama is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to public speaking, no question, but you can quote me when I say this: Michelle Obama is better. She makes you feel like you’ve met with her for a cup of coffee, and she’s talking to you like you’ve known each other for years…”

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source: blog posting, www.dooce.com, April 8, 2010.

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