Chicago, Nov 17: The Obamas' are looking forward to their stay at the White House 65 days from now, and do hope that the transition at the personal level will be smooth for them and their daughters 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha.
They will be the youngest first family to move into the White House since the Kennedys did in 1960. Talking to Steve Kroft in CBS 60 minutes, the Obamas' said the idea they would be the 44th President of the United States and the next First Lady was yet to sink in, but added that the election more than anything had shown them what a great country they were living in. Both said that the day Barack was declared elected, was a day of huge emotion and significance as far as American history was concerned.
"There's no doubt that there was a sense of emotion that I could see in people's faces and in my mother-in-law's face. You know, I mean, you think about Michelle's mom, who grew up on the west and south sides of Chicago, who worked so hard to help Michelle get to where she is, her brother to be successful. She was sitting next to me, actually, as we were watching returns. And she's like my grandmother was, sort of a no-fuss type of person. And suddenly she just kind of reached out and she started holding my hand, you know, kind of squeezing it. And you had this sense of, 'Well, what's she thinking?' For a black woman who grew up in the 50s, you know, in a segregated Chicago, to watch her daughter become First Lady of the United States. I think there was that sense across the country. And not unique to African-Americans. I think that," said Obama.
"I think people felt that it was a sign of the enormous progress that we've made in the core decency and generosity of the American people," he added.
Michelle said that when she took the two girls to school the next day, she could not help envisioning "the girls running into their rooms and, you know, running down the hall and with a dog."
"And, you know, you start picturing your life there. And our hope is that the White House will feel open and fun and full of life and energy, and sleepovers," she added.
ichelle further told CBS interviewer Steve Kroft that the family was going about their personal transition in a sort of a slow and deliberate way.
"The interesting part about this year is that it is slowly transitioned us into this. So today doesn't feel as normal as it did yesterday. If we had compared it to the January before he announced, it would seem truly odd. But we have gradually, you know, had more and more changes. And I think, for us, that's helped us get adjusted to do it. So today isn't a shock," she said.
Interjecting, Barack said: "One of the great joys of this campaign is the seeing how the girls have adjusted to this thing. They have stayed their normal, cheerful, happy, courteous, curious selves. And that was one of my biggest worries. And remains one of my biggest worries. You know, when we think about, I know Michelle and I have talked about this a lot. How do we just maintain that precious normalcy in our two girls? And, you know, 'cause right now they're not self-conscious. They're. you know, they don't have an attitude."
"And I think one of our highest priorities, over the next four years, is retaining that. If at the end of four years, just from a personal standpoint, we can say they are who they are. They remain the great joys that they are. And this hasn't, you know, created a whole bunch of problems for them. Then I think we're gonna feel pretty good," he added.
Asked how their lives had changed in the last ten to twelve days, they both said there was now more calm and back to routine approach.
Obama, however, said there were still some things that they we're not adjusted to like not being able to go for a walk to which Michelle replied that she was not much of a walker any way and didn't miss it.
When Michelle asked Barack whether he wanted to go for a walk, he said he'd love to take her for a walk, but she said she wouldn't go.
Obama said that the loss of anonymity would take some time getting used, he wasn't complaining because that's what he and his family signed up for two years ago.
"One of the challenges I think that we're going to be wrestling with is how to stay pretty normal,." he said.