Presidential Debates 2012: When 'Special Moments' Give Way to Political Reality

For the Obamas, date night will have to wait: It's debate night. Barack and Michelle Obama will hold off on really celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary tonight because the president will be battling in the first round of the 2012 presidential debates in Denver.

Although their anniversary seems to be overshadowed by tonight's debate, the first couple made time to express their love for one another via Twitter.

"Twenty years ago today, I married the love of my life and my best friend. Happy anniversary, Michelle. –bo," the president tweeted, along with a photo from their wedding day.

And in response, "Happy 20th anniversary, Barack. Thank you for being an incredible partner, friend, and father every day. I love you! –mo," the first lady tweeted.

For politicians, personal occasions often collide with important career moments. See who else has to share their "special moments."

Tune in to today for live-streaming coverage of the first 2012 Presidential Debate from Denver. Coverage kicks off with ABC News' live preview show at noon, and full debate coverage begins at 8 p.m.


Obama's Date Night Turns Into Debate Night

Not only does tonight mark the first night of the 2012 presidential debates, but President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will be marking their 20th wedding anniversary, too.

Although the president might spend more face time debating GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the first lady plans to be in the audience supporting her husband.

The inconvenient timing won't stop the first couple from celebrating such a momentous milestone in their relationship. The president has said that he and his wife have postponed their anniversary celebration until Saturday. The traditional 20th anniversary gift is china, so maybe there's a new dish or vase in the first lady's future.


Romney's Three Occasions in One

Mitt Romney had a couple of things to celebrate this year on his wedding anniversary after winning the Illinois primary the night before. Romney, who wed wife Ann March 21, 1969, received a nice anniversary gift in 2012 when he was seemingly winning the primary and widening his lead over Rick Santorum by more than 30 delegates. Romney's victory closed with 47 percent of the vote. Santorum fell short with 35 percent. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich lost by a large margin with 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

On top of the primary win, on his actual anniversary, Mitt received a lofty endorsement from Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush after Romney's primary win in Illinois.


Malia Obama Shares a Big Birthday

First daughter Malia Obama has a pretty special birthday, July 4, celebrating it on the anniversary of U.S. independence. She also shares her birthday with the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, who was born in 1872.

Although fireworks and barbecues are a standard for this special occasion in the country's history, July Fourth hasn't always only been a celebration. Malia Obama and Coolidge share their birth dates with the death dates of three of America's first five presidents. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within hours of one another on Independence Day in 1826, and James Monroe died on July 4th, five years later.


Biden Shares an Anniversary With Watergate

On June 17, 1977, Vice President Joe Biden married his wife, Jill Tracy Jacobs, at the Chapel at United Nations in New York City. Luckily, the two didn't marry five years early because their wedding thunder would have been stolen by one of the biggest scandals in modern American history, Watergate.

On June 17, 1972, five years prior to the wedding of Joe and Jill, the infamous Watergate burglars broke into the Democratic Party's National Committee offices in Washington, D.C. Biden, who now shares an anniversary with the Watergate scandal, almost didn't make it to the alter, admitting that he had to propose to her five times before she finally accepted his hand in marriage.


Clinton Spent Anniversary With Bush and Perot

Similarly to President Obama, former President Bill Clinton had to spend his anniversary night debating but Clinton might have had it even worse: He had to debate not one opponent but two. On Oct. 11, 1992, Clinton debated George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot in St. Louis on his 17th wedding anniversary to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton's anniversary debate was the first of a series of three three-way debates.

Clinton, who married his wife Oct. 11, 1975, might have had something to celebrate, but wasn't apparently the candidate most eager to finish the debate. George H.W Bush famously checked his wristwatch on camera while taking a question from an audience member.

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