Guest Column: Michelle and Oprah Together

Editor’s Note: This column was written by Sandee Abern, former WKRS-AM talk show host and real estate advisor in the far Northern Suburbs of Chicago. This is her account of the historic book launch of the former First Lady’s book, ‘Becoming’:

I have a total girl crush! Why? I was of the lucky 14,000 people who attended Michelle Obama’s event, Becoming Michelle Obama, at the United Center in Chicago.

Not only did I get to see and hear Michelle (I call her Michelle like she is my BFF) but on top of that she was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey…. people….I was in the presence of Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey…it just doesn’t get any better than that! These are two of my heroes, two of the most amazing women that I know of. They are both totally awesome. Being in the same “room” as the two of them literally choked me up. So totally exciting!

The evening started out with great photos and videos being shown on the huge screens at the United Center. They were all about Michelle from the time that she was born to the person that she is today. Her Mother and Brother spoke about her. Her daughters spoke about her as a Mom, and described her as a very involved, terrific Mom. And then (be still my heart) President Barack Obama did a long video talking about her and how much she contributed to his time in the White House. He looks great, very grey but relaxed, like the weight of the world is now off his shoulders!

Oprah and Michelle sat on comfy chairs facing each other and talked candidly for almost two hours. They talked about her time in the White House and what a change it was to be there from the life that the family had been living in Chicago before the President was elected.

Did you know that one of the first things that the Obama’s changed had to do with uniforms? It seemed that the butlers and people serving meals to the first family all wore tuxedos when they were working. The Obama’s, Michelle, in particular, told the butlers and wait staff to nix the tuxedos, to only bring them out during formal occasions. Michelle told them to go and buy some polo shirts and pants and be comfortable.

After all, they were serving pancakes to children, they did not need to be formally dressed! The Obamas made the White House as kid-friendly as they could.

Oprah and Michelle talked and talked and talked and I listened and listened. I didn’t want to miss a word that they said. The conversation was honest and intimate. They touched on subjects such as hurt, how Michelle was trampled on by the press during the campaign…no matter what she did, she was called on it and how hurtful that was. They spoke about how being the First Lady was a whole new experience for her, one that Oprah and the audience agreed she was great at!

She talked about meeting Barack Obama, he actually was her intern when she was a practicing Attorney. It was just so adorable how she told the story in such a loving way.

Michelle spoke of how she was brought up in a very working-class family. She talked about being a black woman and the odds that were piled against her that only made her stronger. She actually had a counselor at Whitney Young High School who blatantly told her not to apply to Princeton University because she would not get in and would not make it through there if she did.

Four years later, when she graduated from Princeton, I personally hope that she went back to the High School and laughed in the counselor’s face.
Oprah and Michelle spoke about racism and sexism and Michelle Obama gave wonderful advice to the women of today. The quote of “when they go low you go high” was referred to many times.

Ladies don’t give up or give in…go for it was repeated many times in as many words. She is her own person. She is successful, She and the President are raising two beautiful daughters who will be and do the same.

The upbeat music playing in the background, the constant pictures of her depicting many of her experiences all contributed to the magic of the evening.

Now for some facts:
Michelle Obama is drop-dead gorgeous!!! Her face, her eyes are beautiful. She was wearing a white outfit that was off the shoulder on one side, similar to what she is wearing on the book cover for her new book, Becoming Michelle Obama. With her terrific white outfit, she had on fabulous jewelry and she was wearing shocking pink high heels…too totally put together! She is very physically fit. I looked at all of the pictures and her arms are definitely perfection! And on top of that she has a bubbly personality and she is beyond intelligent. I told you…crush time!

Oprah (my total idol) looks fantastic! She is adorable with her curly hair, huge glasses and new curvy figure. There is no one else like Oprah…no one. I was mesmerized by her.

All that I can say is that I want a repeat of last night. Come back Michelle, tell us about your new book again! I, for one, could not get enough!

-Sandee Abern

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