POLITICS

The first lady Michelle Obama talks about parenthood, partying & going back to Chicago inside.

They are quick to point out that most of their friends have kidsthemselves, and that when they go on vacation, usually with longtime family friends and relatives, they end up with a houseful of children.

“The stresses and the pressures of thisjob are so real that when you get a minute,”the First Lady says, “you want to give that extra energy to your fourteen-and eleven-year-old.. ..”“Although,” her husband says, a big grin spreading across his face, “as Ijoked at a press conference, now that they want lesstime with us, who knows? Maybe you’ll see us out in the clubs.”

Saturday night!”says the First Lady.“The kids are out with their friends.Let’s go party!”

“‘The Obamas are out in the clubagain?’ ”says the president, laughing.“What istrue,”he says, more seriously, “is that we probably—even before we came to Washington—had already settled in a little bit to parenthood. And.. ..”Here he pauses in the way that only President Obama can.“Let’sput it this way: I did an awful lot of socializingin my teens and 20s.

“But what isalso true,”he says, “is that the culture in Washington has changed in waysthat probably haven’t been great for the way this place runs.. .. When you talk to the folks who were in the Senate or the House back in the sixties, seventies, eighties, there was much less pressure to go back and forth to your home state.. .. Campaignsweren’t as expensive.So a lot of members of Congress bought homes here in the area;their kidswent to school here; they ended up socializing in part because their families were here.By the time Igot to the Senate, that had changed.Michelle and the girls, for example, stayed in Chicago, and Ihad thislittle bachelor apartment that Mi
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chelle refused to stay in because she thought it was a little, uh.

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