Michelle Obama: In her own words

A new book celebrates the wit and wisdom of America's First Lady
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The Independent Culture

You want to know how Barack prepares for a debate? He hangs out with me, and he's ready (2008)

We're two lawyers - we can argue each other into a corner (2008)

It's very funny watching [our] kids with the Secret Service, because these guys are really trying to be secret. And we go to places where they're trying to not look, and Sasha's like, 'Look, there's one. I see you. It's one of the secret people' (2007)

Barack likes action movies and I like romantic comedies. He loves 'The Wire' but we were also 'Sex and the City' fans. 'The Sopranos' was one of our favourites. He likes that kind of stuff (2008)

He's a gifted man, but in the end, he's just a man (2007)

We are a nation guided by fear. The problem with fear is that it clouds our judgement, it shuts us off (2007)

People have notions of what [a First Lady's] role should be, and it's been a traditional one of blind adoration. My model is a little different (2007)

I was raised to believe I could do it all, and that was very empowering (2008)

The Barack Obama who lives in my house is not as impressive. He still has trouble putting his socks actually in the dirty clothes [basket], and he still doesn't do a better job than Sasha at making his bed (2007)

[I thought] I've got nothing in common with this guy. He grew up in Hawaii! Who grows up in Hawaii? He was bi-racial. I was like, OK, what's that about? And then it's a funny name, Barack Obama. Who names their child Barack Obama? (2007)

We are only as strong as the weakest among us (2007)

The notion of sitting around the table with a set of policy advisers makes me yawn. I like creating stuff (2008)

Extracted from 'Michelle Obama: In Her Own Words' by Lisa Rogak, published next month by Virgin Books, £9.99. © Lisa Rogak 2009