Late Night: Michelle Obama tears up talking to David Letterman


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Like her husband, First Lady Michelle Obama tends to be a pretty unflappable character. Sure, she’ll challenge Jimmy Fallon to a potato sack race, but she rarely gets truly emotional in public.

On Monday, Obama got choked up during a visit to -- of all places -- ‘The Late Show,’ as she talked to David Letterman about her late father, who suffered from multiple sclerosis and was unable to walk.


‘I think I learned from him the notion of unconditional love, the notion that kids don’t really need anything but to know that their parents adore them. I think that’s the greatest gift they gave us, just their constant support and stability. We had rules, we had boundaries, but there wasn’t anything our dad wouldn’t do for us,’ Obama said as tears welled in her eyes.

She quickly opted to make light of the situation: ‘Don’t make me cry. This isn’t ‘Oprah!’ This is supposed to be Letterman. Where are the laughs?’

‘Did somebody tell you this was ‘Oprah?’’ asked Letterman, who’s always sensitive to any mention of Winfrey’s name. ‘Is that why you’re here?’

Letterman also inquired about her private conversations with the president. ‘Hypothetically speaking, at the end of the day, has your husband ever come home and said to you, ‘Oh, that John Boehner, what an idiot!’’

‘It has never happened. Never, never. He is always upbeat -- particularly about Congress,’ Obama quipped with perfect comic timing.

Elsewhere in the interview, Obama talked about Bo, the first dog, whom she called ‘the smartest dog on the planet,’ her covert shopping trips to Target, and Joining Forces, the initiative she and Jill Biden launched to support military families.


Obama has made a flurry of talk-show appearances lately, no doubt because of her husband’s reelection campaign, but this might have been her most charming moment to date. What do you think?


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-- Meredith Blake