In her best-selling book Becoming, Michelle Obama was able to reveal more about her time on the campaign trail and in the White House than would have been advisable while she held the title of first lady. And Thursday night Jimmy Kimmel put this newfound honesty to the test, throwing her some hard-hitters like, “Which non-family member celebrities do you text the most?” (Oprah and Gayle recently) and “Did Bo know he was the White House dog?” (Yes). The interview also revealed that despite free “rent” and services, the presidential family pays for their own food. While Obama feels that this is fair to the taxpayer, it is a bit odd to think about, especially given that the first lady is not paid a salary. Charismatic as usual, Obama responded to Kimmel’s inquiries and also his pleas for her and her family to come back and save us all. But she also sneaked some emotional honesty into the light conversation, explaining that as a member of the presidential family, she received next to zero time to process what happened each day. Therefore, writing Becoming was a valuable chance for her to finally do so:
“For the last decade there was no time to even really think about what just happened to us. I write about how the week would start, something amazing would happen and then by the end of the week I would’ve forgotten about that other amazing thing. …. We were just inundated. So coming out of the White House you need that time to take stock and say what just happened? What was that? And this book allowed me to do that and to really understand what those eight years meant to me personally and how it fit into the context of the rest of my life.”
Next Kimmel had Obama recite some goofy sentences more acceptable to say now that she is not the first lady. When he had her joke that the Obamas used Laura Bush’s Netflix password during their eight-year tenure in the White House she gave an aside (“Sorry, Laura”), and it felt almost quaint. You can see why so many people are obsessed with Michelle’s friendship with George Bush, given that the closest the current first lady has come to reaching out to her predecessors is paraphrasing her speeches.