A Love Story : The Obama’s

Michelle and Barack | Courtesy of The North Star Group

It all began in 1989, when Michelle Robinson was an associate at Sidley & Austin–the sixth-largest corporate law firm based in the United States. Michelle had just completed her first year in the firm as an intern when the buzz started. The word around the office was that there was a promising first-year law student who was—at the time—enrolled at Harvard, who would be joining the firm.1 Even though the office was buzzing with this hot news, Michelle kept in mind that first-year law students hardly ever get this type of opportunity, considering the size and degree of the firm. So she assumed he was some sort of super geeky nerd. She also assumed, because of their similarities—such as the law school they attended, and their alike characteristic of being a minority—that they would be paired to work together, with Michelle as his adviser.2

Michelle Obama standing in the
courtyard at Princeton University | Courtesy
of The Princeton Weekly Bulletin

When Michelle first heard about Barack, she said she “probably did what a lot of people do when they hear about Barack Obama.”3 She explained that she had been taken back by the name, unique in its entirety, and she wondered where he was from. As she read more into his biography, she learned a lot about him, including the fact that he grew up in Hawaii, and that he was biracial.

Barack was in fact placed under her wing a few days later, and Michelle took him out to lunch on his first day as a way to establish a professional relationship.4 Little did anybody know that one day they would be much more than just co-workers. Since she had already made the assumption that he was a weird nerd, Michelle was prepared for a geek to walk through the door. However, what happened was her future husband walked through the door, and out to lunch they went.

Even though the lunch outing on Barack’s first day at the firm went extremely well, and she was completely intrigued by his humorous, down-to-earth personality, one couldn’t smell the romance beginning just yet because Michelle was not open to dating anyone at this stage in her life.5

Even though she was positively surprised by the much cuter man that walked in—not the nerd she expected—and completely intrigued by him at their lunch outing, she knew she needed to be focused solely on her career.6 Besides the fact that they were co-workers, she was his adviser, and Michelle took that very seriously. Since she knew it would be wrong to pursue anything romantically in the office, she settled for a mere friendship with Barack.

But Barack wanted more than that. He insisted time after time on her letting him take her out on a date, and she told him, time and time again, no—because it wouldn’t be right. Barack’s persistence eventually led Michelle to agree on going out with him, under the circumstances that it would not be called a date.7

Michelle and Barack’s Wedding Day | Courtesy
of Michelle Obama’s Instagram [@michelleobama]
The “non-date” was an all-day affair. Barack took Michelle to the Art Institute in Chicago, and he wooed her with his knowledge of art. Following the wooing at the museum was a lunch at one of the outdoor cafes at the Institute. “They were playing jazz so that was really sweet,” Michelle says in an interview for CNN.  They then walked up and down Michigan Avenue on a beautiful summer day. They concluded the “non-date” with a movie by Spike Lee titled Do the Right Thing and a drink on the 99th floor of the John Hancock building overlooking a breathtaking view of the city.8

After the negotiated “non-date” that anyone else in the world would consider a date—including them at the end of it—Michelle was completely head over heels for this man. And well, the rest is history—literally.9

  1. “How Michelle met Barack Obama,” YouTube, January 30, 2009. Accessed November 20, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exxrkOxnGjw.
  2. “How Michelle met Barack Obama,” YouTube, January 30, 2009. Accessed November 20, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exxrkOxnGjw.
  3. “How Michelle met Barack Obama,” YouTube, January 30, 2009. Accessed November 20, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exxrkOxnGjw.
  4. “Michelle Obama,” Biography.com, November 08, 2017. Accessed November 20, 2017. https://www.biography.com/people/michelle-obama-307592.
  5. Liza Mundy, “When Michelle Met Barack,” The Washington Post, October 5, 2008. Accessed November 20, 2017. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/10/03/ST2008100302144.html.
  6. Liza Mundy, “When Michelle Met Barack,” The Washington Post, October 5, 2008. Accessed November 20, 2017. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/10/03/ST2008100302144.html.
  7. Peter B. Slevin, Michelle Obama (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015), 126.
  8. “How Michelle met Barack Obama,” YouTube, January 30, 2009. Accessed November 20, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exxrkOxnGjw.
  9. Liza Mundy, “When Michelle Met Barack,” The Washington Post, October 5, 2008. Accessed November 20, 2017. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/10/03/ST2008100302144.html.
A Love Story : The Obama’s
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A Love Story : The Obama’s

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  • The Obamas in my opinion are the Iconic couple. You never really think that a love story could be a part of history however it really is because this are two very strong people in the nation today. “Michelle was completely head over heels for this man. And well, the rest is history—literally” was probably the cutest part of the article because its true and sweet and I enjoyed it. I found it interesting how Michelle was Barack’s advisor because it shows how intelligent are strong Michelle was, since Barack learned from her. You had a good amount of evidence and you kept it sweet to the story. I really enjoyed reading into their love story in this article.

  • My sister showed me the movie that was made about the Obama’s so I knew their first date story. I really enjoyed reading it from a new point of view. The Obama’s have a special kind of love and I really enjoyed reading how they met again. This article did a great job of telling their story and the pictures really helped me to visualize them out and about.

  • Barack and Michelle Obama have a relationship that everyone dreams for and this is such a perfect way that they could have met. This is a well written article and I appreciate them for telling this story because not a lot of people know about this. Short and straight to the point. I am really in awe of this article and find it so sweet. It is a perfect way to a relationship and must have been a fun story to write about. Hopefully this can be used for something in the near future, if not just a great story to tell people about how they met.

  • Barack Obama was president for a large part of my life, and over the years I have become familiar with the story of how he met Michelle. I had never heard the story of their first “non-date”. This article is well written and informative and I like how the story was written on Michelle’s perspective of the story and it allowed the reader to see a glimpse of how she felt.

  • I enjoyed reading this about the love story of the Obamas. It funny to think of Michelle Obama visualizing Barack as a nerdy geek who she would have to watch over. The pictures were great and helped tell the story. My favorite part of this story is that Michelle Obama would only go on a date with Barack if it was called a “Non-date!”

  • Ahh, America’s favorite couple. This article was a nice story about the history of the Obama’s and how it all began. It seems as if for Barack, it was love at first sight. I did not know that Michele was older than Obama until reading this story. Their “non-date” sounds like a day full of fun, I cant believe how much it involved!

  • I enjoyed reading about the Obamas! Every moment that was caught they showed how beautiful and graceful their relationship is. It was adorable to hear that Michelle Obama was Barack’s advisor. He was such a charmer constantly asking Michelle for a date and Michelle constantly saying no. Their “non-date” was such a romantic day, Obama truly set the bar high. This story is so incredibly simple that it warmed the hearts of America.

  • I enjoyed reading this article because I truly love the relationship between the two. They’re always laughing and joking around with one another. It is funny that Michelle was actually Barack’s advisor and she had him under her wing. It’s also funny how they shared so many similarities and Michelle already pictured a nerdy geek to walk into the door.

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