First Lady fields wide ranging questions from kids
First Lady Michelle Obama answers questions in the East Room on Thursday
April 28th, 2011
06:58 PM ET

First Lady fields wide ranging questions from kids

WASHINGTON (CNN)–With thousands of parents across the country taking their children to work Thursday, it was no different for employees at the White House as First lady Michelle Obama welcomed the children of Executive Office employees to the White House for ‘Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day’.

Appearing in the East Room, Mrs. Obama wasted no time with opening statements, and immediately opened up the forum to questions with her guests quizzing her about everything from her job, to her favorite sports teams, and life with Bo, the family’s Portugese Water Dog.

“When you have kids, we do what you do so that becomes our favorite thing,” she said as she described her favorite things to do with her daughters, Sasha and Malia, which included going to their soccer and lacrosse games. She said tennis was “without a doubt” her favorite sport, but that she enjoyed basketball as well.

On the subject of reading, the first lady said ‘Song of Solomon’ by Toni Morrison was her first favorite book. Mrs. Obama said while she had never read the ‘Harry Potter’ series of books, Malia had read every book in the series with President Obama from cover to cover.

Obama said it was “shocking” to her when her husband was elected president, but was excited “not just for us, but for all of you,” after the nation elected its first African American president.

“You guys are funny,” Mrs. Obama said as she spent a few moments shaking hands and talking with the children as she left. “I would stay here all day actually, but they won’t let me.”

Topics: Michelle Obama

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Therese

    What a class act! Michelle Obama is truly an inspirational figure.

    April 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  2. angela arrington

    First of all. This nation need prayer. I'm not a racist. But it is what it is. Were the only nation that knocks down I superior. We got a lot of issues at hand, god is coming. If this nation don't stop all this nonsense about birth certificate etc.etc. Were gonna be like those countries we see on tv. Plz united states. Let's come together as one before it's to late. It shouldn't matter what skin color, how rich people. We all bleed eat bush wash and have illness. So for racist to exist. It's out of bounds. I'm a single parent suffering from sarcoidosis with a set of 7yrs old twins. I don't need themn to look at the media and see all this foolishness going on. Our kids suppose to be our better generation. But if we keep this up it's a wrap. And far as mr trump. He's probably a beautiful person. On but got the wrong idea. People with money like that get to be the real a****ole there life make it to be. Can't take that money to the grave. How bout helping instead of debating. I'm just saying though

    April 29, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  3. Jay in NC

    She told the kids that ‘Song of Solomon’ by Toni Morrison was her first favorite book. Here are a few quotes. I had to add the *** so CNN would not block this post.

    Chapter 3,
    He ain't old enough to have wet dreams.
    Cause he whistled at some Scarlett O'Hara cu*t.
    Knocked him into the f*** radiator.
    A 12 year old is given liquor. "He was trying to get as drunk as possible as rapidly as possible."
    Who care if he f*** a white girl?
    Crackers care.
    Yeah, well, f*** Till.
    Nigg**s get their names the way they get everything else...
    Dumb ass.
    Like a f***'n sheep.

    Chapter 4,
    Watch the lump grow in a little boys pants.
    17 year old having sex with 36 year old cousin.
    Young boy strangled with rope and his head bashed in.

    I am saddened that a first lady of the United States would mention such a book to young children. This book contains murder, revenge, teenage sex, rape, 12 year old drinking, murder and the 'N' word. One character, Guitar, lies in his bed, figuring out how to bomb a white church and kill four little white girls. Throughout the novel, white creatures are symbols of impending harm or wrongdoing. Could she not think of anything better than this racist, foul language, hate filed book?

    One of the characters, Michael-Mary Graham, may have hit on the truth. – Although they claimed to support universal human rights, liberal whites often refused to treat African-Americans as equals.

    April 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  4. Liz Carter in Georgia

    It's the responsibility of the parents to do just what you just did! Check out the book first; especially if their child is that young! They asked a grown woman, what her favorite book was. She answered the question! I guess she could've lied and said 'The Little House On The Prairie' series! I hadn't read the book yet myself, but from what you posted of it, there are some R-rated excerpts. However, it's the parents job to monitor their own childrens': books, tv, internet/cell phone usages, rooms and more!

    April 29, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Why would a well educated, well-read, intelligent proud woman like The First Date pick such a foul mouth, hate filled, book about rape, murder and suicide? Wonder what age she was when she first gave it a read? Let's see, she was 13 when the book was first published. But I am sure that her kind and caring parents would not allow someone that young read this book. So was it when she entered high school or college? No not that age, she said it was her first favorite book. One would think that she had read many books before she entered college. It is puzzling.

      Maybe her supporters will take the time to read Song of Solomon for themselves. It is her favorite first book and what better way to understand her point of view than to read what she is reading. Or maybe the publishers could ask The First Date to read an audio version. She does have such a pleasant speaking voice. Oh, its on Oprah's list, that makes it even better. I am still left wondering, why this book, and what insight does this give us into her soul. I will have to do some more research.

      April 30, 2011 at 7:13 am |
  5. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Nobody can ever tell me that anybody who ever passed through that WHITEHOUSE, was anywhere near this criticized, critiqued and beligerently denigrated for every word, thought and deed as this FIRST FAMILY! Some people are so bent on discounting this Obama family, that if the effort is good, and there's no real harm or controversy about it, they work hard daily, doing research to find anything that can be percieved as 'bad' by fellow conspirators; turning even what's meant for a positive into a negative!

    April 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  6. Our lovely first lady

    Thanks CNN for posting this story – IMO we don't hear enough about the great work Michelle Obama is doing.

    @ Jay – so, how many National Book Awards and Nobel prizes in literature have *you* won? Clearly you are taking these references in S of S out of context and aren't seeing the forest for the trees. It's absurd to think Mrs. Obama is advocating that grade school children read it (they wouldn't understand it anyway). I do like though that 10 years from now they may see it and a memory will trigger & then they'll read it.

    April 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      So you and I agree with each other that this book is inappropriate for grade school children. With that fact I am simply drawing the conclusion that it is also inappropriate for her to suggest it. The children are impressionable and willing to follow her lead. Wasn't that the point of the meeting, to impress the children?

      No, I have not won a Nobel Prize, the same could be said of you. Does that negate your opinion as well? The idea that I am not seeing the forest for the trees, or taking it out of context is also absurd. I am looking at this book in the context of children. You said for your self that they would not understand it anyway. The fact that they would not grasp the full meaning of the book or the context of the language is exactly the reason it should not have been suggested. Again you and I agree with each other more than you are willing to admit.

      She made a grave error in judgment and deserves to be called out on this issue. As far as them reading it 10 years from now, I hope not. There is enough hate, racism, murder, suicide, rape and foul language in our world and better uses of their time.

      Political jab: Nobel, wasn't that the same organization that gave Barry a medal for peace, but then again, that was before he started a third war in Africa.

      April 30, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    If there is such a big problem, just tell the parents of those children to campaign and all but demonstrate like the ones did because she offered alternative eating habits and food choices to schools and children. That initiative was set out for the good of the childrens' health, and parents kicked and screamed that she couldn't tell them what to feed their children, or tell them what to eat and how to exercise, keep fit! So I say let them monitor this book situation. You can't have it both ways! GEEEZ!

    April 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm |