In her Glamour Women of the Year interview with Katie Couric (video after jump), Michelle Obama was strong and on-message, giving some of the best advice we've heard (and Katie Couric does a Fran Drescher impression at 15 minutes).
Look, no one expects a hard-hitting interview for the Women of the Year feature - it's meant to be a tribute and an informational Q&A. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but giggle when Katie said - and I paraphrase - "You invited young girls from the D.C. public schools to meet with strong female role models at the White House: Why did you do that?" (Also inadvertently goofy was, upon asking Obama the standard "who would you choose to have dinner with?" Couric added, sympathetically, "it is a hard question, I must say." )
You can probably guess the reason behind the White House meet-and-greet: Obama spoke extensively about the importance of mentoring, a new mentoring initiative she's starting for young women, and the extent to which people in her own life affected her. Other hot topics were nutrition and diet ("Maybe You Should Write A Cookbook!" exclaimed Couric) and the importance of healthcare for women.
Throughout, Obama was gracious, articulate, and definitely on-message - in classic First Lady mode, and wearing it nicely. She was eager to identify as a woman, a wife, and a mom, making the point that,
"we have to remember that it's usually women who handle healthcare decisions." One very interesting moment, I thought, was when Couric added, "You must have learned a lot about this in your previous life as a hospital administrator," and Obama replied, "I've learned a lot in my life as a mom." Message received! When Couric, referencing the scrutiny applied to Obama's appearance, led with, "Do you ever want to say to people, 'Get a life?'" Obama's denial was swift: "Oh no," she said. "It's part of the job." (Since we're on the topic, the First Lady looked lovely and her hair was very, very tall.)
Towards the end of the interview, Couric read a few questions from Glamour readers - things about "juggling," "having it all," and, yes, dating. These spontaneous answers were the interview's highlight. On the subject of keeping sane, Obama said this: "I put my kids first and myself a really close second. One thing I've learned from watching male role models is that they don't hesitate to invest in themselves."
But best of all was her answer to the question on "how you landed such a good guy." "Did you know that Mr. O. was a great catch," asks the reader, "and what advice can you give a 26-year-old young professional" about how to land her own? Not shockingly, Obama says the POTUS "was special in terns of his honesty, his sincerity, his compassion for other people...cute's good, but cute only lasts for so long." And then this, which should really just replace the dating portion of Self-Help:
Look at how the guy treats his mother, what he says about women, how he acts with children he doesn't know. And more importantly how does he treat you? When you're dating a man, you should always feel good...you should never feel less than...you should never doubt yourself, you shouldn't be in a relationship with someone who doesn't make you completely happy or make you feel whole. And if you're in (such a) relationship, don't get married, and find that person who brings you complete and utter joy.