Obama: Michelle has sacrificed more

The president has worked toward parity with Mrs. O -- still, she's the one who gave up her career

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published October 22, 2009 6:01PM (EDT)

In an interview with NBC's Savannah Guthrie, Barack Obama acknowledges the trade-offs his ambitious wife has made. It didn't start when he set his sights on the White House, either: Several years ago, he says, "Michelle was trying to figure out, OK, if the kids get sick why is it that she's the one who has to take time off of her job to go pick them up from school and not me? If the girls need to shop for clothes, why is it that it's her burden and not mine?"

To his credit, Obama has attempted to address the inequity: "What I've tried to do was to learn to be thoughtful enough and introspective enough that I wasn't always having to be told that things were unfair, and that once in a while I'd voluntarily say, 'Let me relieve this burden on you, let me make some sacrifices in terms of how I'm using my time.'" Bravo, Mr. President, you set a good example.

Still, there is no denying that Mrs. Obama gave up her vice-president position at the University of Chicago Hospitals, for his presidency and for the well-being of their kids: "Look, the truth is that Michelle still had to make sacrifices of the sort that I did not have to make."

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