President Barack Obama with Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, and Anthony Sadler, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, to honor them for heroically subduing a gunman on a Paris-bound passenger train last month
First Lady Michelle Obama greets students at Howard Community College in Columbia, Md as part of her ‘Reach Higher’ initiative
First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a discussion on higher education in the East Room of the White House. The First Lady hosted the 2015 Beating the Odds Summit to recognize youths who have overcome substantial obstacles to persist through high school and make it to college, as part of the “Reach Higher” initiative
Michelle Obama is nothing if not gracious. Since moving to the White House in 2009 following her husband Barack Obama’s presidential election win in 2008, the Chicago native has used her mantle as the First Lady to fight for military families, children’s health and young people’s pursuit of education. Her charm, intellect and warm personality have created a collaborative environment where politics are left at the door and people connect to get things done.
Do you find yourself being more ambitious about your designs to help young people now more than any other point in your life, and why?
I’ve always said that the role of First Lady comes with this big bright light that follows you wherever you go, and you have the privilege—and the responsibility—to shine that light on important issues and tell the stories that too often go untold. So I do find myself being especially ambitious right now, especially because so many of the issues I work on are deeply personal to me.
"I wouldn't be where I am today without education." —The First Lady to students who are beating the odds to go to college #ReachHigher
A perfect example is my Reach Higher initiative, an effort to inspire young people to continue their education past high school. My parents didn’t have college degrees, and while they loved and supported me, they really couldn’t help me with things like standardized tests and financial aid forms. So I often had to figure stuff out on my own, and I didn’t always get it right (I actually applied to one college simply because I liked the pictures in the brochure). And today, I have a chance to reach back and help young people struggling with these exact same challenges, and I intend to use my time as First Lady and beyond to do everything I can to empower them so they can fulfill their dreams.
A little over a year ago, we started tossing around ideas about how we could collaborate with Mrs. Obama. At the time, having her serve as the first-ever guest editor of More seemed like a crazy dream, but it was at the top of my list. We knew that partnering on an issue would be a lot of work—I’m not sure the White House understood exactly how much!—but we were thrilled when they said yes.
This is truly the First Lady’s issue. From the beginning, she said she didn’t want the whole magazine to be about her. It was hard to take off my editor’s hat and not focus all of my attention on the person on the cover. Instead, we shifted our focus to the people, causes and opportunities she cares about.The First Lady always asks how her initiatives—Let’s Move, Joining Forces, Reach Higher and Let Girls Learn—are moving the needle and having more impact on the world. We hope this issue will empower readers to create positive change, whether by supporting one of the First Lady’s programs or another cause.
She’s a wife, mother and lawyer, an advocate for children and military families, and first lady of the United States. Now Michelle Obama has added a new gig: magazine editor. The first lady is “guest editor” of the July-August issue of More, which bills itself as the magazine for “women of style and substance.” It was a first for both the White House and the magazine industry, said Lesley Jane Seymour, More’s editor-in-chief. “There’s never been a first lady who’s ever guest-edited a magazine and certainly not a sitting first lady,” Seymour told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “She’s really the editor,” Seymour said. She said the edition focuses on Mrs. Obama’s “point of view on the world and it’s from her eyes.” “Guest editor” wasn’t just a fancy title. The first lady had to pitch story ideas and write and approve copy for the 148-page issue, Seymour said.
She “was reading every page and asking for changes up until the last minute,” Seymour said. “She had to approve absolutely everything. She had to suggest various things, too.” Staff handled stories about fashion and beauty, along with basic functions of the magazine. The theme of the issue is having “More Impact.” Mrs. Obama said she welcomed the opportunity to share some of her White House experiences with like-minded readers. “What I want readers to understand is that impact comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. And hopefully through this issue, what people will see is that you can have impact as a military mom changing careers, or you can be a young person starting a business or you can be the first lady and start a whole initiative,” Mrs. Obama said in a written statement released by More. The issue highlights the first lady’s four priorities: helping children live healthier lives, supporting military families, encouraging young people to pursue education past high school and helping girls around the world attend and stay in school. It also includes pieces on her long-serving chief of staff and senior adviser, two women who have influenced the first lady’s work.
When Barack was first running for President back in 2008, I made what I thought was an innocuous comment about how, if he were elected, my most important job would be “mom-in-chief.” The response was swift and passionate. Some people thought this was great, a sign that I had my priorities in order and was doing what was right for my family. Some were less positive, concerned that I was devaluing my professional achievements and ambitions.
As for me, I was just confused. The way I saw it, embracing my role as mom-in-chief didn’t mean dismissing what I’d accomplished in my career or shortchanging the important work of being First Lady—on the contrary, I planned to pour myself into the job and do everything I could to have a real impact on people’s lives. I was just stating a simple truth: The most important thing in my life is raising my two daughters.
“At the annual State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, Chuck Kennedy captured this poignant moment between the First Lady and U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg. Cory first met the President in 2009 at a D-Day ceremony in Normandy. Four months later, Cory was badly injured in Afghanistan and in a coma for three months. In early 2010, shortly after Cory came out of his coma, the President happened to be visiting patients at Walter Reed Hospital. As he walked into one of the patient’s rooms, hanging on the wall was a photo I had taken of the President and Cory in Normandy. The President then realized that he had met this badly injured Army Ranger at Normandy. Two years later, we were visiting Arizona, where Cory had gone home to further recuperate. The President asked if Cory would be able to greet him backstage. Amazingly, Cory was able to salute the President and walk across the room aided by a walker to shake hands with the President.” (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
February 4, 2014
“Members of Congress vie for the President’s attention following a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus in the East Room of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“The President talks with some of his national security advisors before a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine. I’m sure there will be people quick to comment about his wearing casual clothes and having his feet on his coffee table. Let’s keep perspective in mind: it was a Saturday, and a President is the President whether he’s wearing a suit on a weekday or casual clothes on a weekend. And a President, any President, isn’t disrespecting the office if he puts his feet on a table or a desk; he’s just being relaxed.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama shakes hands with military service members prior to a meeting with military senior leadership at the Pentagon on October 8
President Barack Obama meets with senior military leadership at the Pentagon in Arlington (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama participates in a conference call with state and local officials to discuss the Administration’s domestic preparedness response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, at the White House on October 8
Text of Remarks by the President in Conference Call here
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, President Obama and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey sit in a meeting with Military Senior Leadership at the Pentagon on October 8, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. The President met with the military leaders for an update on the battle against ISIS.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and President Obama greet members of the military after attending meetings with military leadership at the Pentagon
First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a Fashion Education Workshop at the White House. The workshop was to connect students with leading fashion professionals to show what to take to succeed in the fashion industry
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue magazine, after she was introduced by Wintour during a session of a Fashion Education Workshop
Fashion stylist Mary Alice Stephenson attends a session of a Fashion Education Workshop
First Lady Michelle Obama introduces Chelsea Chen, who won a design competition
Fashion designer Jason Wu applauds First Lady Michelle Obama as she hosts a luncheon and panel discussion
Fashion designer Phillip Lim takes a picture of First Lady Michelle Obama
Fashion designers Edward Wilkerson (L) and Thom Browne (R) applaud First Lady Michelle Obama
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs fashion designer Naeem Khan during a fashion construction workshop session at the first ever Fashion Education Workshop in the State Dining Room at the White House
First Lady Michelle Obama talks with young fashion design students
First Lady Michelle Obama visits the “Wearable Technology” workshop. Wearable technology is the integration of technology with fashion, like boots that charges cellphone, bras that detect cancer, compression shirts that monitor and record your heart rate, breathing rate and body temperature