Christmas at the White House

Part 1: Barbara Walters sits down with President Obama and the First Lady.
9:00 | 12/23/11

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Transcript for Christmas at the White House
During -- year we've often seen president Barack Obama interviewed but then I have the president and the First Lady sat together. And as you'll see in their only joint network -- this year the dynamic between them is more personnel. Unpredictable. Not -- quite funny. From my third year in -- what I hope will become a holiday tradition I've visited their home. Just before mrs. Obama and her daughters travel to Hawaii. And I'm noticing the White House from a beautiful. A dog more popular. With the theme more movement. Talk about that costs. But -- Obama -- the holiday season begins the day after Thanksgiving. The -- revival of the national Christmas tree which immediately goes up -- told the Bloomberg. The next four days over 100 volunteers from around the country meticulously decorate the White House. -- -- -- 1000032 million Christmas -- thousand who was sitting here this season and then and that the. Mrs. Obama the theme this year is is. Military. Well -- that the theme is -- give share. But there's. An emphasis on on military families in this is our -- and gold star family tree and gold star families -- families who lost a loved one. They came from every corner of the country to decorate a tree on that and remember the fallen. -- stop violence is like Christian Santos children whose husband columnist was killed by a roadside bomb. Jennifer Jackson whose son Ryan died during a training mission. And youth stonecipher who lost her son this defect in Afghanistan. Killed 38 days after 9/11. My son gets educated and he -- holiday Christmas tree of life. Thousands of visitors will walk past pictures of those who died -- this is an important thing for gold star family members they want to make sure that America never forgets. -- -- this is the official White House Christmas tree. Dedicated to blue star families -- those still sitting. And decorated with cards from the country's military children this would be me this is -- mrs. Obama. And this one. A cute one this is the president you've seen by the years. Well done but this is also touching inside. -- you see how he's written a picture of this gambling and he's over here it's -- mom brother dead. And then dad is blue over here serving. But -- -- it's just thought well this is sufficient. The famous POO Portuguese Water Dog is everywhere depicted in 2000 pieces of liquors in -- -- and even then trash -- This hot button -- a -- -- and -- -- Spending god over the gingerbread White House and by the way weighs 400 -- There's even for a half foot -- -- made from felt kind of post this the real bones. I'm. You -- yeah. Some analysts and ms. Walters this is the star I don't mind when I was -- good mommy and -- -- in the I meant I don't live he's -- things they have yet he wants to see it. Fox. Older he's he's learned more. This will be be Obama's big Christmas the White House. So while their home has been transformed into a magical wonderland the same can't be said for the past. Political fortunes. In oppose one minute he's up the next he's. The one constant the president is depressed he -- -- -- the woman he calls them luck. But his family. When I interviewed you after the 2008 election you said. About the -- lady she is my reality check. She knocks me down a few picks. Mrs. Obama how does one knock down the president you can accept no one knocked him down. But I -- them a -- about what. Any and everything. I'm years I -- like dancing and singing lions are missing he's just fun to tease the girl let me do it you basically the straight man from the Obama. -- -- -- -- Besides mrs. Obama another reality check that the president has the -- UVCs from ordinary Americans. These letters I think do more to keep -- in touch with. What's happening on the consciousness about it. Since his first week in office. The president needs ten letters every day college from the tens of thousands of letters emails and faxes the White House species -- And every week the president gave rise to fifteen or twenty of them and handwritten answers. What do most people. Thank you. Right now the economy is the overwhelming. -- subject for people. A lot of folks write about their home being underwater the the value of the home has dropped drastically in -- worried about losing their home. Some like this struggling unemployed mom and Michigan. Has sold their letters from the president that thousands of dollars in order to pay down mounting builds. That sometimes you just. Either get people who. Are calling an idiot. Or when I call you an -- -- you -- back and sometimes not so sometimes I do I don't throw bags out about a vision. I have been called this before but -- try to explain to you know what we're trying to do. When you hear people say. He's cold. He's aloof. He doesn't show -- motion. True not salute leaner. Yankees he's serious. I think he takes this job incredibly seriously. I think he's got a lot on on his shoulders. But. You know when he doesn't have that -- on and it's not often that he can just let go home. He's gonna -- he's very sweet. And -- He'd he loves his wife and his children deeply. I'm sorry that great to have your funny moment forget that. He's he doesn't think you're getting you -- he's my heat I'm funny she was. -- -- -- -- -- -- But the reason cheeseburgers she's allowed to tease me but I can know is can he could fit in and Holland there's -- -- -- it makes our marriage work. Who. I'm looking -- holding hands and that's basically the company is -- head. -- next year king will open and still Holland and it's absolutely yeah he's very affectionate. -- Obama's marriage has always been a political -- Not so for every politician. Like Republican candidate Newt Gingrich who has had to address questions on whether infidelity is fair game during -- presidential campaign. This topic has come up recently -- Republican debates do you think that someone's marriage. On marriages should be part of the public debate. I'm not big on. People's personal lives. Being. Poked and prodded and -- that ends -- being. The primary issue. We've got such big issues to deal -- Right now and -- such substantial differences. Between certainly. My position them. Any of the Republican candidates. That's what we should focus -- The president and First Lady knows their lives -- fair game. But so -- they have successfully shielded their daughters Sasha and Malia from the public career. Although if they get older -- that may be harder to do. I want to talk about the girls and ten. Cents. And -- and a teenage rebellion. Now I think had gone -- -- when -- fourteen Africa. You know we have sports in order for I think I think -- -- a -- -- and we're we're we're not there yet there aren't -- that that I mean. Our girls there are delightful and we talk about the sort of craziness of teens tonight. I look at -- -- I say hey what's that is that crazy teen stuff which is like no mom will never do that. But they're they're good they're good girls. Does Santa Claus is still comer had just out of Santa Claus. Who lives in the hearts of many children's. Because. This is being shown on and I say okay but asked kids to grow. You know they sort of relationships are so sad or changes. Human.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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