The Obamas: Christmas at the White House

Barbara Walters asks the president and Mrs. Obama about their marriage.
7:04 | 12/27/12

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for The Obamas: Christmas at the White House
moran. For a holiday, this has been a busy time in washington. As the negotiations surrounding that looming fiscal cliff come to a fever pitch just before the new year. But this is also a time of tradition and celebration in the nation's capital, and nobody decks the halls like the team at the white house for christmas. Christmas is there, has come to mean a special visit every year, not just from santa claus, but from abc's own barbara walters. Barbara? Terry, in what has become one of my favorite holiday traditions for the fourth year, I had the privilege of interviewing the president and mrs. Obama at the white house. This interview was taped days before the tragic shooting in connecticut and was postponed until now. It was the first time the couple sat down together since winning re-election. Mrs. Obama also took me on a personal tour of what is called le's house. And it's never more true than during the christmas season. After thanksgiving, more than 80 volunteers from nearly 40 states descend on the white house, trimming 54 trees, plus every nook and cranny. First dog bo is the star of the show. There he is inspecting the decorations, including thi larger than life model of himself, made of 20,000 pompoms. My friend. Yes, bo. He's really big in relation to this house. This 300-pound ginger bread white house was the first stop on my exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with first lady michelle obama. These are various rooms in the actual white house. Absolutely. And the details in these rooms are just beyond this year. Why peer into these windows when I can see the real thing? Come on, bo. Does he follow you around all day? Next stop, the red room. Filled with cranberries and fruit trees. For christmas alone, we'll have more than 90,000 people come through these doors. How many hands do you shake at christmas? Oh, thousands. Show me how you do it. You know me. But you can't do that with everyone. In the center of the white house, the blue room with the official white house tree. This is the joining forces tree. It's the main tree here. The biggest tree. Iful. And the special thing about this tree, barbara, is that the ornaments are handmade messages from military kids who live in bases all around the world. This one says "love you, dad, safe travels." So when visitors come, they can read these messages and, you know, just remember what these children are sacrificing during this time. This is one of my favorite trees! Look how big the tree is! Earlier, the first lady invited some military families to see the unveiling of ornaments and to make some holiday sweets. Did you guys taste these? This is go they had kids, they were decorating cookies, and they were so focused until I brought in bo. They were more excited to see bo than they are to see me or the president. In fact, bo is the only one on the white house christmas card this year. And his paw print is alongside the first family's signatures. What is bo getting for christmas? Oh, bo. Well, since he's right there, let's talk quietly so he doesn't know. I think he's going to get a couple of more plush toys. But don't tell anybody. I won't say a word. But there would be no such restrictions when I sat down with the president a obama for their first joint interview since the election. After a decisive victory, they were riding a new wave of popularity. The campaign seemed to have brought them even closer together. Mr. President, mrs. Obama, there is a photograph of you that went viral, became the most shared photograph in the history of twitter. Here it is. That's a great picture. When you look at this picture, what do you think? At what point was it taken? I think we were campaigning in iowa. Why were you hugging so hard in iowa? Because I love my wife. Well, and also, I hadn't seen him in a while. When you're campaigning, they have two ships passing in the night. And the first time I saw him was when I walked onstage to greet him. And that's my honey giving me a hug. I like giving you hugs. How do you keep the fire going? That's a good question. You know, we've been married now 20 years. Uh-huh. And like every marriage, have your ups and your downs. But if you work through the tough times, the respect and love that you feel deepens. And then there's a lot of laughter. And you're funnier. For the most part. Everybody thinks she's pretty funny. I'm funnier than people think. That may be. You may be funnier than people think. When the election was so close, everybody was saying it's so close, did you have a moment in which you said we may lose the election? And then where do we live? Do we stay on in washington? What do we do about the girls' schools? Did you have to ponder any of that? The girls definitely asked the question. What happens if dad loses? And the thing that we just tried to instill in them is that, you know what? We were fine before we were here and we're going to be fine no matter what happens. I want to talk about the girls. We have been watching them grow up from little girls to young ladies. Now, malia recently got her first cell phone. Do you want to see who she calls and who she texts? I give my daughter at this age -- I give her a long rope. And there is monitoring because we have rules. But monitoring may be -- you never know when I'm going to walk in your room and I'm going to definitely ask you, who are you talking to and are you talking about school work? And they're not very good at lying. We joke sometimes about how malia's getting to the age now, boys start calling and I always talk about how one of the main incentives for running again was continuing secret service protection to have more guns around. Boys can call the white house and say may I speak to malia? Well, that's part of the challenge with cell phones these days. Because it used to be -- pick up your phone and call, mr. Obama, it's x, may I speak to your daughter. Those days are gone. Will you let malia date yet? She's a teenager and she's going to start at some point. Being interested. Our goal has been to try to make sure that their lives here are as normal as they can be. Whatever they could do in chicago, they should be able to do here.

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

{"id":18072186,"title":"The Obamas: Christmas at the White House","duration":"7:04","description":"Barbara Walters asks the president and Mrs. Obama about their marriage.","url":"/Nightline/video/obamas-christmas-white-house-18072186","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}