Michelle Obama on life in the WH bubble

Gayle King and first lady Michelle Obama
In a "CBS This Morning" interview, Michelle Obama tells co-host Gayle King about her role as a confidante of the president.
CBS News

WASHINGTON - President Obama carries a heavy burden every day. And, once in a while, he carries his wife's shoes. "CBS This Morning" host Gayle King found this out during a conversations this week with first lady Michelle Obama at the White House. Among the topics discussed were her family, dating, cell phones and parent-teacher conferences. There was also a rare tour of the East Wing.

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A transcript of Gayle King's conversation with Michelle Obama is below.

Gayle King: Can I just say, I love this picture. What is it like for you when you walk down the hall, really? I love this picture.

Michelle Obama: It's actually...well this is like the East Wing, this is my office, It's family so.

King: So, it's all family photos?

Obama: Well it's...well this is family. My staff is family so it's sharing some of your best moments with the crew. This is at the World Series, Jim and I were there with a wounded warrior and his daughter, who is so adorable, I can't remember where we were but this is typical Barack saying something he shouldn't have.

So this is after one of the Christmas parties so you see me taking off my shoes that was probably after a 300-person photo line and the first thing I do is take my shoes off. So he was carrying my shoes upstairs.

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King: Me too. But do you ever walk down and look at the pictures around the White House and go, "That's me, that's us."

Obama: Sometimes. Yeah.

King: Do you ever just sort of marvel at your life? That you live in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and that you're about to start another campaign?

Obama: Yes, yes. And it's so cool. So yes, it's a - I have a lot of fun in this job. You can look down the hall and see "fun."

King: I know, really, your life is sort of documented, really. And the girls too.

Obama: You know I just thank the photographers that are tracking the growth of my kids, because if it were up to me, I'd be like well I wonder what Sasha looked like when she was 7. I don't have a picture. But we do.

King: Is it hard for you to make sure that they have a normal life, because people would say, "Living in the WH is a bubble." Do you think you live in a bubble?

Obama: Yeah, we do. We absolutely live in a bubble. There's shatterproof glass in our windows and you know. Men with guns on the roof, and you know, that's just the reality of it. So yeah, that's something that we have to work for. So I have to keep my kids on track to do things that we would do as if we weren't here. Whether it's vacation or camp or taking a trip we would normally take. It's letting them get outside of the bubble, to get them to a place. That's why going to Hawaii is so important. They can run on the beach and be away and be normal. That's so important and I fight for that, for them.

King: To make sure that they get that.

Obama: That they get it and I'm a mom. I think that they deserve it. And they handle this stuff with grace, they don't complain. They're always doing service.

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King: Boy, look at Sasha.

Obama: I think this is Thanksgiving, although I get confused. We do a lot of service. So this is one of many times that we were at one of the food pantries.

King: What are you doing here?

Obama: I'm being completely silly.

King: Well he seems to approve of silliness.

Obama: Yes, he was. I crack him up all the time. Yeah, so that's our behind the scenes silly.

King: You two still crack each other up, don't you? You still do, there's still a lot of...

Obama: Yeah, yeah. And now we've got two other people. Malia and Sasha are getting old enough where they crack us up too and they crack themselves up.

King: What do you and the president do that embarrass your daughters? Because all parents do something that their -- go "Oh my God. You won't believe my mom and dad."

Obama: For me it's singing and dancing. If I break into my, you know, so when we're in a place somewhere and I want to get Sasha to laugh because I think she's too focused and serious and you know if you don't smile I'm gonna start dancing, and she's like, "No, no don't dance."

King: But every child has something, like God I hope...even if you're president or first lady do you really have to do that.

Obama: But you know our kids, well this is you know another thing. They don't really want us to come up to school. Because especially the president. Because when he comes for parent-teacher conference, it's a motorcade. The other day Malia was like, "Oh no, is dad coming? Is he bringing all those cars? Really it's like the other day I think they almost hit my teacher."

King: You know we were talking about, when I look at the pictures and see how much they've grown, you know that thing called "dating" is coming soon. Are you worried about that, excited about that?

Obama: You know I'm excited for it. That's part of living, just sort of you know liking somebody and being excited but...

King: Can people just call and talk to them, their friends can just call and say, "hey!"

Obama: They have, Malia has a cell phone. It's very limited access and it's monitored, but she has one so she reaches out to her friends and there was a period in time when she had that and she was ready for that. But there are rules on when she can use it and who can be on it and you know all that good stuff.

We are at the theater. There's a lot of red in here. We watch movies - that's our date, that's what we do when there are movies. The kids like to go to the movie theater.

Obama: They're like any other kid. They want to be anywhere other than their own house. So they're always more ready to be there. So yes, I would think their friends would like it, but my kids are trying to get to the movie theaters.

King: So when the president comes home in a helicopter, they don't run to the window to look and see - "Oh dad's home."

Obama: Well for the first couple of times it was interesting. But that's how he comes home all the time so it's like "Yeah, whatever. Dad's home! I smell the helicopter fuel...I think he's home."

King: So we're close to the West Wing, do you just pop in? Should we pop in today? Is he here?

Obama: He is here, but you know, I try not to pop in with cameras and lights. I think that's one boundary.

King: "Hello Mr. President we just happened to be here."

Obama: "Gayle's here, excuse me."

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King: Looks like he was just groomed

Obama: He was, he was kind of stinky. Yeah he doesn't look like this all the time.

King: Do you find that you take care of him more than anyone else?

Obama: I think the girls do a pretty good job because they do most of the walking, but you know I'm the alpha to him in the house. So I'm the person he garners more, me and Barack.

King: So it still just one male president and one male dog. Do you need to make an announcement here Michelle you know it's my wish.

Obama: Oh yeah, you're still wishing for that?

King: I'm still wishing for a baby boy.

Obama: There'll be no other children in the White House. I can officially make that announcement here.

King: Are you sure?

Obama: Put the mic up. You heard it here first.