Michelle Obama is America’s choice for ‘most admired woman’ in a new survey! Celebrate the former First Lady and take a look back at her fairytale romance with Barack Obama — from their days as a young couple, to the presidency and beyond.
It’s been a year of achievements for former First Lady Michelle Obama, who topped the list for “most admired woman” in an annual survey by Gallup, which was published this week. The 2020 accolade marks the third year in a row Mrs. Obama, 56, has topped the coveted list. Meanwhile, PresidentBarack Obama has topped the survey as “most admired man” for 12 years prior.
In this year’s survey, 17% percent of Democratic responders named Michelle as the “most admired woman,” while 16% named Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, followed by 5%, which named Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. As for Republican responders?— First Lady Melania Trump led responders with 8%, followed by Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who received 4%.
A pregnant Michelle Obama takes a walk with Barack and their eldest daughter, Malia, then a toddler, in 2000. Michelle was pregnant with Sasha at the time. (AP Images)
On October 3, 1992, two of the most influential figures in American politics married and became the ultimate power couple: Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Barack’s presidential dreams hadn’t begun just yet, and the White House was a faraway destination. The two Chicago lawyers were just immensely in love and trying their best to improve the city they called home. Twenty-eight years later and four years post-presidency, let’s take a look back at Barack and Michelle Obama’s remarkable life together as he releases his memoir, A Promised Land.
Michelle Obama joins her husband as he announces his run for president in 2008 in Springfield, Illinois (AP Images)
Barack and Michelle Obama first met while working for the same law firm in Chicago in 1989. The colleagues became fast friends, and eventually, their relationship turned romantic. The former First Lady actually talked about what first attracted her to her future husband during an episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast. “Once [Barack and I] started talking and became friends, he was very clear — just like, ‘I want to date you. At least in my experience up until then, men would be coy,” she told guest Conan O’Brien. “They would, you know, sort of look around the room. It was all so complicated, and it felt, a little immature.”
Michelle Obama and Barack Obama cuddle with their daughters in a Chicago hotel room as they await 2004 Senate election results(AP Images)
“What struck me about Barack was his, lack of pretense,” Michelle continued. “I mean, he was somebody who knew what he wanted, and wasn’t afraid to say it. And, I thought, ‘well, if he’s that in tune with his emotions that he can that say out loud to somebody that doesn’t know.’ He didn’t know whether I liked him back! He was like, ‘look, let me tell you, this is what I think about you: I think you’re special, I think you’re different, and I would like to take you out.’ And that was rare. And it was attractive.”
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama arrive on the red carpet at the 2005 Legends Ball (AP Images)
Three years later, they would tie the knot and become even more accomplished as partners and as individuals. Michelle worked for the Chicago Mayor’s office, then becoming the Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, and a leader at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Barack was a community organizer in Chicago, later becoming an Illinois State Senator in 1997, US Senator from Illinois in 2005 — and President of the United States in 2008, of course.
Michelle and Barack Obama get some help from Oprah Winfrey at a 2007 presidential campaign rally (AP Images)
In the middle, they would welcome two beautiful and accomplished daughters — Malia Obama, now 22, and Sasha Obama, now 19. Malia currently attends Harvard University; Sasha is an undergrad at the University of Michigan. Barack writes in his new memoir that growing up with an absentee father made being there for his daughters his ultimate priority. “When Malia was born, I made a promise to myself that my kids would know me, that they’d grow up feeling my love keenly and consistently, knowing that I’d always put them first,” he wrote, noting that they always had dinner at 6:30 together while living at the White House.