With his innings at the White House nearing its end, US President Barack Obama has expressed his admiration for his wife Michelle, describing her as the “ballast for our family.” Reflecting on the role friendship has played in his life in a wide-ranging exit interview with his friend and former senior adviser David Axelrod, Obama, 55, said his relationships have given him “serenity.”
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He expressed gratitude for his relationship with his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, and how her honesty and support have helped him remain grounded through difficult times and political losses.
“And you know, Michelle, I can’t underestimate the degree to which having a life partner who is so grounded and so strong and steady and fundamentally honest helped,” he said in the latest episode of “The Axe Files” podcast.
She has been the “ballast for our family,” Obama said on his 52-year-old wife, who has emerged as a fashion icon, a role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, physical activity and healthy eating.
Obama married Michelle in October 1992.
Obama, the 44th US President, will relinquish presidency on January 20, also spoke on his friendship with friends.
“One gift I do seem to have is getting really, really good friends around me who’ve got my back. And that gives you a certain serenity in the midst of a lot of foolishness,” Obama said.
The President added that like his relationships with his immediate family, his relationships with his close friends remained intact amid his challenges and his successes.
“Their relationships with me never depended on my success or outward success. They didn’t — my best friends from high school don’t operate any differently with me now than they did when I was …”
“And they’re around a lot. You — you have them here a lot,” Axelrod interjected, pointing out that Obama’s personal friends never refer to him as “Mr. President.” “They do not,” Obama said.