Michelle kept Obama from going up in flames

Five things you ought to know about FLOTUS, according to Vogue

Topics: Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Vogue, Family, presidency, first lady, FLOTUS, jonathan van meter, annie leibovitz, ,

Michelle Obama dazzles on the cover of the upcoming issue of Vogue, which boasts a series of photographs of the first couple, taken by — who else? — Annie Leibovitz, and a cover story by Jonathan van Meter. Van Meter’s profile focuses mainly on the softer side of the Obamas: their relationship, their family values and how the two unwind. Buried within the warm and cuddly profile, however, are a few things that you may not have known about our nation’s leader:

President Obama loves “Where Is the Love?” by the Black Eyed Peas:

“The photographer has her iPod playing the Black Eyed Peas song ‘Where Is the Love?’ It is a mid-tempo hip-hop lament about the problematic state of the world. As the First Lady and an aide laugh together over some inside joke, the president starts nodding his head to the beat: ‘Who picked the music? I love this song.’ “

As a freshman state senator, the president lived in such a dump that he had to get a hotel room when the first lady would visit him:

” ‘By the time I got to the Senate, that had changed. Michelle and the girls, for example, stayed in Chicago, and I had this little bachelor apartment that Michelle refused to stay in because she thought it was a little, uh …’

‘Yikes,’ she says.

‘You know, pizza boxes everywhere,’ he says. ‘When she came, I had to get a hotel room.’”

That “dump” later caught fire:

“The First Lady leans in toward me. ‘That place caught on fire.’

‘It did end up catching on fire,’ says the president sheepishly.”

But since Michelle Obama is like Beyoncé, she straightened him out:

“ ‘Now, in fairness,’ says the president, ‘there is one thing that’s changed.’ The First Lady looks at him. ‘What’s that?’

‘Which is, I used to only have, like, two suits,’ he says.

Now you must have dozens, I say.

‘Michelle’s like Beyoncé in that song,’ says the president. ‘Let me upgrade ya!’ She upgraded me.’ ”

She also manages the president:

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” ‘But I think it would be a mistake to think that my wife, when I walk in the door, is, Hey, honey, how was your day? Let me give you a neck rub. It’s not as if Michelle is thinking in terms of, How do I cater to my husband? I think it’s much more, We’re a team, and how do I make sure that this guy is together enough that he’s paying attention to his girls and not forgetting the basketball game that he’s supposed to be going to on Sunday? So she’s basically managing me quite effectively—that’s what it comes down to. I’m sure Valerie [the president’s senior adviser] might have made it sound more romantic.’ The First Lady, who has been staring at her lap through this entire answer, finally looks up and laughs.”

Read the rest of the cover story at Vogue.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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