The Obamas On Their Personal Transition

Talk About Their Family's Move To The White House, And Efforts To Preserve Sense Of Normalcy

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Kroft: I know that from talking to you, you've said that this has put a lot of, you know, your husband's involvement in politics has put strains in your marriage from time to time. He's about to take over the most pressure packed job in the world. But he's also gonna be home, right?

Michelle Obama: Oh yeah. He's got a big office at home now.

You know, this entire year and a half has brought us closer together as a family. And we managed to stay close and become even closer with Barack gone most of an entire two year period. And now we get to be together under the one roof, having dinners together. And, you know, I envision the kids coming home from school and being able to run across the way to the Oval Office and see their dad before they start their homework. And having breakfast. And he'll be there to tuck them in at night. And, you know, again, you know, there'll be moments of deep seriousness and times of great focus. But, you know, we'll be together doing that. And that gives me reason to be very excited.

But that's not the only thing that is about to change for the Obamas. When 60 Minutes first met them two years ago in Chicago, everything was much simpler.

Kroft: I can remember the first time we went to your house We were greeted at the door by the girls. They were a little smaller then. A couple years younger. But that has to have changed. I mean, you can't get in the car and drive all over Chicago, right?

Mr. Obama: Yeah. I remember the first time we interviewed - we just drove down right near your mom's house.

Michelle Obama: Oh, that's right. That's right. You did.

Mr. Obama: Got out of the car, walked--

Mr. Obama: Yeah, that's a little harder to do now.

Kroft: You told me that when you went off to Washington and made the decision to live there and when you came back to Chicago you had certain chores that you had to perform. You had to wash the dishes and make your bed.

Mr. Obama: Yeah.

Kroft: Are you free now on that front?

Mr. Obama: Well, I…

Kroft: Certainly there's gonna be somebody else to wash the dishes and make your bed.

Michelle Obama: Yes.

Mr. Obama: There sometimes it's soothing to wash the dishes.

Michelle Obama: You? Since when was it ever soothing for you to wash the dishes?

Mr. Obama: You know, when I had to do it. I'd make it into a soothing thing.

Michelle Obama: The thing you have to remember, Steve, is that you, the interesting part about this year is that it is slowly transitioned us into this. So today doesn't feel as normal as it did yesterday. If we had compared it to the January before he announced, it would seem truly odd. But we have gradually, you know, had more and more changes. And I think, for us, that's helped us get adjusted to do it. So today isn't a shock.

Mr. Obama: One of the great joys of this campaign is the seeing how the girls have adjusted to this thing. They have stayed their normal, cheerful, happy, courteous, curious selves. And that was one of my biggest worries. And remains one of my biggest worries. You know, when we think about, I know Michelle and I have talked about this a lot. How do we just maintain that precious normalcy in our two girls? And, you know, 'cause right now they're not self-conscious. They're. you know, they don't have an attitude. And I think one of our highest priorities, over the next four years, is retaining that. If at the end of four years, just from a personal standpoint, we can say they are who they are. They remain the great joys that they are. And this hasn't, you know, created a whole bunch of problems for them. Then I think we're gonna feel pretty good.

Kroft: How has your life changed in the last ten days?

Michelle Obama: You know, it's calmed down a bit. I mean, we're-- we're back into more of a routine.

Mr. Obama: There's still some things we're not adjusted to.

Michelle Obama: Like what?

Mr. Obama: Like--

Michelle Obama: What do you want?

Mr. Obama: Me not being able to take a walk.

Michelle Obama: Oh, well, you know.

Mr. Obama: No, I mean, though those are things that…

Michelle Obama: I don't walk as much as he does though. So I guess I don't miss it.

Mr. Obama: Yeah. I mean, you know.

Michelle Obama: You want to go for a walk?

Mr. Obama: I do. I'd love to take you for a walk. Although it's cold today. But…

Michelle Obama: Yeah, I wouldn't go with you.