Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

‘Thank you for sticking with me’: Barack Obama honours Michelle in incredibly emotional speech

obama.jpg

Barack and Michelle Obama may no longer be reigning supreme in the White House, but the former President and First Lady will forever hold a place in our hearts.

And, over the weekend, Obama took a break from his new role as an “Instagram husband” to honour his wife in an emotionally charged speech.


Read more: Everyone’s calling Barack Obama an “Instagram husband” after this holiday photo


After being awarded the prestigious John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s Profile in Courage on Sunday, Obama stepped up to the podium to make his acceptance speech – but, as ever, his mind was well and truly on his “Girl of the South Side”.

“I want to thank Michelle Obama for, after the presidency, sticking with me,” he joked, as Michelle smothered her giggles in the audience.

“Because I think she felt an obligation to the country to stay on [as my wife], but, once her duties were over, it wasn’t clear.”

Obama continued on a more serious note, insisting: “I love my wife.

“I’m grateful for her, and I do believe that it was America’s good fortune to have her as First Lady.”


Read more: The Obamas’ old professor thinks Michelle should have been president


It is not the first time that Obama has paid tribute to his wife – with whom he shares two children, Malia, 18, and Sasha, 15 – and we doubt it will be the last, either.

During his final presidential address in January 2017, Obama called upon citizens to uphold their constitutional rights – and outlined the biggest threats to American democracy: economic inequality, racial divisions, the retreat of different segments of society into “bubbles”.

The 55-year-old then went on to thank Michelle for her time as FLOTUS, saying: “For the past 25 years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend.

“You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour.”

Happy Valentine's Day to the love of my life and favorite island mate, @barackobama. #valentines 💕💕

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

For her part, the former First Lady has previously spoken out about the couple's mutual respect. Appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2011, she explained the secret to her and the former prez’s long and happy marriage (they tied the knot way back in 1992).

“It has to be a true partnership, and you have to really, really like and respect the person you're married to because it is a hard road,” she said at the time. “I mean, that's what I tell young couples.”

The 53-year-old continued: “Don't expect it to be easy, melding two lives and trying to raise others, and doing it forever. I mean that's a recipe made for disaster, so there are highs and lows. But if in the end you can look him in the eye and say, ‘I like you,’ [then you’ve done a good job].”

Watch the interview for yourself below:

Images: Rex Features

Related

barack-obama-michelle-vacation-photos-instagram-husband.jpg

Why everyone’s calling Barack Obama an “Instagram husband”

michelle-obama-president-2020-speech.jpg

Michelle Obama is wearing her hair natural and it's amazing

barack obama michelle obama president 2020.jpg

The Obamas’ old professor thinks Michelle should have been president

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Amanda Seyfried’s new abode to Jessica Chastain’s feline friend

by Nicola Colyer
17 Oct 2017

Jennifer Lawrence was forced into a naked line-up by a producer

In the name of weight-loss “inspiration”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Abigail Breslin’s photo reveals how domestic abuse can stay with you

The actor has opened up about the realities of living with PTSD

17 Oct 2017

“Why Liar is proof that TV's depiction of rape is damaging to women”

The proliferation of rape in TV and film is a real problem for the representation of women

by Harriet Hall
17 Oct 2017

Nigella Lawson reveals why red is the ultimate foodie colour

As she tracks her gastronomic love affair with all things crimson

by Stylist
17 Oct 2017

Reese Witherspoon says she was sexually assaulted at 16 by a director

“Producers made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Courtney Love tried to warn us about Harvey Weinstein in 2005

This video shows her speaking out against Weinstein over a decade ago

by Susan Devaney
17 Oct 2017

Hillary Clinton praises NHS after receiving medical treatment in UK

Clinton spoke about the UK’s health service during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show

by Moya Crockett
17 Oct 2017

Maisie Williams’ response to Sophie Turner’s engagement is perfect

There’s a reason these two have been dubbed #BFFgoals, you know…

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Oct 2017

America Ferrera reveals she was sexually assaulted as a 9-year-old

‘I believed that I was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man’

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Oct 2017