Barack and Michelle: The Power Couple of 2018
From 2008 to 2016, Barack Obama made history by not only becoming the first African American president of the United States, but also the first African American president to win a second term in office. The former president won the hearts of millions—but he was not alone. His wife and former First Lady Michelle Obama used her platform to make great strides in history, making her one of the most influential First Ladies in American history. The couple strived from humble beginnings to taking over the nation, one heart at a time.
During the Obama administration, Barack and Michelle carried a strong supportive role for one another, setting marriage standards high for many. However, their calm and confident exterior was not met without struggles during the beginnings of Barack’s involvement in politics. In an interview at the White House, Michelle Obama stated that on their wedding day “Barack didn’t pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting.” He definitely delivered on this promise. In 2004, Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, thus setting the groundwork that would later motivate him to set his sights on the White House.
Barack Obama’s campaign platform emphasized a need for change, and during his eight years in office he delivered that and much more. While the first terms promised hopes of improved racial relations, the end of the second term revealed the Black Lives Matter movement became “generally bad.” Obama had turned the U.S. economy around and it is not in better shape than after the Great Recession of 2009. Unemployment dropped from 10 percent to 5 percent, and the Dow Jones doubled during his presidency. During international and domestic crises, Obama became very much involved, proving that coming together should not always be because of tragedies. He continued to prove to the nation “By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” His push for better educational standards, healthcare, and same-sex marriage made Barack Obama amongst one of the most beloved presidents of the younger generation.
According to the former president’s speech during the State of the Union address in 2010, Obama stated that “If you were going to list the 100 most popular things that I have done as president, being married to Michelle Obama is number one.” While his statement did acknowledge the adoration between the couple—even after twenty years—what many failed to realize is the impact Michelle had during her reign as First Lady. While she not only pushed for healthy living, Michelle became a model and inspiration to many women. On multiple occasions she motivated her audiences with personal experiences, which does not fall short as she is considered one of the most—if not the most—educated First Ladies in American history. In response to such acclaim she had stated, “If I cared about who liked me or who didn’t like me, I wouldn’t be married to the President of the United States.” Michelle Obama pushed for girls to finish their education and break the glass ceiling by not letting other stop them. In today’s society, with global movements such as “Me Too” and “Time’s Up,” her words and success definitely place her as just as influential as the former president.
Even after their departure from the White House, Barack and Michelle Obama remain active in political, social, and economic movements. The former president released statements in support of the protests against Trump’s call against keeping “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the United States. Obama took a three-nation tour during the fall of 2017, where he met with the President of China and the Prime Minister of India. Michelle Obama is still seen in the spotlight, although not in the same way. She still advocates for healthy living and eating just as she did during the second term of the Obama presidency. She has been a guest speaker at various summits, conference, and visited her old college—Princeton University.
Both Barack and Michelle Obama are still in the public sphere, any many people thrive on this participation due to their lack of support for the current Commander-in-Chief. While they stole America’s heart one day at a time during the Obama Administration, the couple prove themselves to still be one of the most powerful couples of 2018. What should the world expect from this dynamic duo? We will have to wait and see!