Transcript for Michelle Obama Turns 50, Flashes AARP Card
This is a special room. I'm -- company -- -- this ABC news digital special report a very special day for the First Lady she is officially. Fifty Michelle Obama and -- -- -- today and from fitness and nutrition education style she has used her time of the White House to redefine. What it means to be first lady of the United States this morning First Lady took to Twitter to celebrate the milestone of of aging writing she is excited to join Barack -- the over fifty crowd and then flashed that brand new AARP card. A big day in DC and a big weekend of celebration planned ahead. The joining us now from Washington talk all things First Lady and fabulous fifty ABC's Cokie Roberts an editor at large for Washingtonian Magazine Carol Ross joint. Ladies thank you so much for being with us -- afternoon. Now is good and listen I say fabulous and fit the I normally hate that word because we say such a way is that they should be -- -- for -- -- it's fifty years old they can't expect this but that is what the First Lady said herself so that is purely on quotation there. They're calling me fabulous at fifty Arctic who I would both that -- laser battle is that goes clearly without today because I was there -- -- of the past five years though. The First Lady has mostly steered clear of politics. Exercise healthy eating that live in the signature issues yesterday though she can't with the president announcing a major push to expand access. To college education in the final three years as First Lady. Is she now redirecting her focus in that position. Well he -- he doesn't run again so she can't get him in trouble. And and she's very very popular. So I think that day she can pretty much do anything she wants to do here. She has been involved -- military families as well as the nutrition program and she has focused a lot. On the question of obesity particularly in the African American community in those are issues that really -- focus. So it's not like she's been around them pouring the -- for the last few years. But. I do think that -- and -- probably with just a few more years to go realizes that she only has this bull horn. For a little while longer. And says she would -- the subjects that she thinks matters and you know she has a daughter. Who will soon be going to college so that -- and focuses the mind. That is something that that that the first family certainly. Use is that oftentimes if they're making any kind of a public appearance or if it's kind of an impromptu. If they're on vacation or they they have a sort of relate ability of of explaining where the daughters are at and their time of growth and their time and education. That I think it is a connection -- a lot of American families -- I want to ask you sort of the transformation. That Michelle Obama has made in her role as First Lady sort of compared to 22. To Washington DC culture in general. Well she's been first of all very good to Washington DC she's wonderful about showing up at local schools bringing in local school children. She had she to -- I locator and I think she's a very typical. Mother Washington parent she so much like her peer group in the city. Who are so involved in raising their kids and involved in their schools. I know that there is. An agreement between the schools -- the parents in the White House. That the press don't talk about the obamas and their daughters but I have friends or parents of -- -- -- -- does too. And they're just great parents and she's great mother she's very involved that way and it's wonderful to watch -- is. And that you can't drive home. By that -- and well by the mother is the fifth. Because. They have Obama isn't likely to be if someone gave you the very yeah very did not show up and -- up but you can't get home theater well there is that. -- traffic show right. It raised though it will well we'll have the bull bull driver report letter out of cocaine compared to -- to that kind of style that that related business. So some other first ladies. Obviously Hillary Clinton and and most recently. The first -- Bush's it. Is there that same kind of connection. I think that there is I think every First -- connects and her -- way. And of course when Hillary Clinton was here she also had a school age child lasted Rosalynn Carter. But. I think that. What tends to happen is people kind of overlay. There -- views about women in society or about the man who is president on to the First Lady. And and it's often wildly unfair. But. Fairness doesn't really go with the territory. I mean I I -- here in Obama. Well I interviewed Michelle Obama and Laura Bush together in Tanzania last summer at the first lady of -- summer. And they -- terrific and they were very friendly with each other and and it was in a really interesting interview -- terribly important. To the first ladies of Africa. But I started the interview by jokingly. -- -- Martha Washington. When she wrote to her niece when she was the first First Lady. Saying people -- the first lady of the land that in fact I feel more like -- chief state prisoners which she didn't. And -- I quoted that -- news the 21 ladies there. And said so isn't how the White House kind of like being in a state president everybody -- left and and then they sort of joked about how well. Yes you know there is listeners sort of prison that atmosphere. -- the air. But then they joked in a but it's a nice prison with that should have -- all of that. -- was back and forth between Laura Bush and Michelle Obama. The next day -- newspapers led with Michelle Obama says White House -- So you know it it's just goes with the territory -- are much much sheet she goes out what the president look how much she goes out with her girlfriends. I -- there at the Howard theater it -- once a month you know just turn the girls it's it's wonderful to watch. And having just returned from Hawaii -- and extended birthday celebration there has been in some time with -- Oprah Winfrey. At her place in Hawaii. You know I don't ask you -- about that because that's going to be incredibly difficult that not only is the role of the First Lady obviously to share in the diplomatic responsibilities for what your husband is is it is having to undertake. But at the same time there's a great degree of social pressure. There is it that I think. I did my my approval rating and Michelle Obama is up here. But I think the one thing I'd love to see her do in these next few years they have here. Is just -- a little more out -- Washington. Out with her friends. Out involved in some of the social event showing up. Very few of the Obama administration show up and the social scene and Washington and I think it's unfortunate. But -- love I'd love to see the First Lady out more notes typical minutiae as a schedule that we don't even hear about and she is. Very much dedicated parent I would love to see that I really would. -- in there has spent so much attention has been placed on how how the first family -- they're raising their girls and how in fact. They have done such a successful job at keeping Sasha and Malia out of the spotlight. Keep him away from the from the press -- trying to give them as much of a normal upbringing. As one can be brought to Washington DC. And and that does and -- -- the critical words because you know it is. I can say this it is like a prison I can't imagine how family lives and that compound and in -- finally. Scouts say that it's the best time of their lives because they aren't together and their regular. There's a certain could come -- nature to -- That and Jackie Kennedy always said that they -- a lot of us they office years of her her life with Jack Kennedy. But I also think that that the Obama is really do have the clintons to sank. And the bushes for the ways -- people have kept away from the their kids because the clintons just drew -- line. And because you know issue a call when -- Clinton was first elected president and Chelsea -- kind of an awkward twelve ish age. -- and and some late night comedians when after her and then parents reacted as parents would. And and they said this is absolutely off elements would not gonna do this. And they haven't. Used -- -- throughout the campaign in ways that she was fair game. And that and so what they do that -- the press respected and the and that Bush's did the same -- so the obamas walked in to a situation. Where they -- already boundaries and I think that was extremely helpful to them into the future. I did an interview. Last week with the head of Sidwell friends and he and he went about as far as he's allowed to go. That he he talked about how. He called Obama is an elegant couple -- called the daughters. You know high performance students. -- thought that was a nice -- -- just -- seems to fit together very well. Where it seems to reflect sort of the that the mutual respect at the White House hasn't as a White House as meaning in the Amway has. With the media with the press and -- and and conversely. Yeah yeah well you know I mean. I'm I got that -- that. I want I want is another thing to that I that I eight and about Michelle Obama is. That photo at Mandela's funeral notwithstanding almost every time you see a picture ever she's smiling. Not as if you know. Well I know what I mean but but that but much was made about the photo that she was angry at her husband I think she was at a funeral. But by and large when you see her she appears to really enjoy the job. They they they they -- certainly they do and they certainly seem very much at ease. And I know that there has been a lot of hype and a lot of excitement building up for this weekend for her fiftieth birthday in fact. Here's what she said last month about the party that's been planned. I -- fifty. Here yeah. Lots of definitely lots of dancing lots of personality in fact a couple of times and of it. At the First Lady has called -- the president on his. I don't say lack of rhythm. But actually she has certainly shown him -- many times on the dance floor what do we know -- care about the details about the party this week. We we -- -- -- know that I don't know a lot of me and I know that it's going to be beyoncé is so that means also Jay-Z if it's anything like the party they had. After the inauguration it'll go into the wee hours. And yesterday -- but don't mentioned on champagne we're seeing being wheeled and to the White House. People who hang out in the press room assume that was for the party. I expect that that you know at the higher and hotels around the city over tonight and tomorrow we'll start -- a lot of celebrities showing up. But there's -- nothing you know there's not a lot of it's beyoncé and that the First Lady wants to dance all night. -- dance on either -- side and back and celebrate fifty Caro. And Cokie thank you both so very very much -- certainly -- -- this a lot of fun big celebration taking place this weekend. As the First Lady. Turns fifty years old today. Complete coverage right here and abcnews.com for -- -- Dan that's our New York with this ABC news digital special report.
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