Barack Obama thanks Michelle for 'sticking with him' after the White House

'I think she felt an obligation to the country to stay on but once her official duties were over it wasn't clear,' former US President jokes

Barack Obama: I want to thank Michelle for sticking with me after the White House

Barack Obama will be remembered for many things during his eight years as President and this will include injecting a newfangled dose of modern humour into the White House. From his quip-bursting White House Correspondents Dinner speeches to his mimicking of viral memes while navigating the late night TV circuit, the former President's wit was a defining feature of his tenure.

Now in typical Obama fashion, the Chicago native has jokingly thanked Michelle Obama for sticking with him now they have left the White House. Accepting the John F Kennedy Library Foundation's "Profile in Courage" Award at a ceremony in Boston, he paid tribute to the former First Lady for staying with him in civilian life.

"I also want to thank Michelle Obama for, after the presidency, sticking with me," he said prompting raucous laughter from the audience. "Because I think she felt an obligation to the country to stay on, but once her official duties were over, it wasn't clear."

"I love my wife. And I'm grateful for her, and I do believe that it was America's great good fortune to have her as First Lady."

The couple, both Chicago natives, met in the late 1980's at a local law firm called Sidley & Austin. At the age of just 25, Michelle was assigned as a mentor to an associate who was, you guessed it, Mr Obama.

Michelle initially pushed back when he first asked her out, once saying in an interview that she felt it would be ”tacky“ if they started going out because they were ”the only two black people“ at the company. But she did not resist for long and they started dating later that summer and by 1991 they were engaged and 1992 married.

Mr Obama also used his acceptance speech for the John F Kennedy Library Foundation’s award on Sunday to express his "fervent hope" Congress members would transcend party political lines when thinking about the imperative issue of healthcare in the US.

His words came just days after the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives narrowly approved a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday. This is a victory for President Donald Trump who has called the 2010 law, which enabled 20 million more Americans to get health insurance, a "disaster."

During a reference to former President John F Kennedy's book on political courage, he said many Congress members risked and ultimately relinquished their seats when they cast a vote for the Affordable Care Act which was widely dubbed Obamacare.

"As everyone here now knows, this great debate is not settled but continues. And it is my fervent hope, and the hope of millions that, regardless of party, such courage is still possible,” Mr Obama said.

"That today's members of Congress, regardless of party, are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth even when it contradicts party positions."

Mr Obama has adhered to the convention of giving new President's some leeway in the early period of the administration and ceased to mention his successor President Trump by name in the speech. He has also opted against directly remarking on the billionaire property developer in his three public appearances since leaving the White House in January.

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