It's all about the dress
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
January 22nd, 2013
08:20 AM ET

It's all about the dress

Washington (CNN) – After all the anticipation and waiting, perhaps the biggest bombshell about Michelle Obama's inaugural ball dress was that it really wasn't a surprise at all.

Like 2009, the first lady wore a gown by the Taiwanese-born American designer Jason Wu, who was catapulted into the highest echelons of fashion when Obama donned one of his designs four years ago.

Obama, who is known for favoring lesser-known American designers, had several dresses presented to her before she made her decision, and didn't reveal what she would wear before she stepped out on stage at the Commander-in-Chief's ball, making her repeat turn in Jason Wu a rare moment of suspense amid the scripted revelry of the inauguration.


Topics: Michelle Obama • The Family
Foiled WH arrival plans
November 7th, 2012
05:51 PM ET

Foiled WH arrival plans

According to multiple WH aides,  White House staff planned to assemble on the South Lawn to greet President Obama as he returned this evening but the arrival has now been changed due to weather, as pool has noted. POTUS will arrive by motorcade instead of chopper and that means only a limited pool of reporters get to see him come in and staff members who were looking forward to welcoming him home, no doubt with cheers, will not get to do so. Fair to say some disappointed folks here at the White House.

Topics: 2012 Election • AF1 • The Family
Happy Birthday President Obama
President Obama plays golf while vacationing on Martha's Vineyard on August 23, 2011 in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts.
August 4th, 2012
10:57 AM ET

Happy Birthday President Obama

President Obama is 51 years old today and he was not going to waste a minute of his birthday hanging around the house. He was up and out heading to the golf course early. When you're the president do the other golfers let you win on your birthday? Better question might be, when you're the president do the other golfers always let you win?

No matter who wins the golf round after it's over President Obama will travel to the private presidential retreat, Camp David to spend the rest of his birthday with family.

Topics: President Obama • The Family
July 30th, 2012
11:44 AM ET

Obama's family tree connection to first African American slave

(CNN) –His family tree has been linked to Brad Pitt, Sarah Palin and both Presidents Bush but now President Barack Obama may be related to the first documented African slave in pre-revolutionary America., which bills itself as the world's largest online family history resource, on Monday released research and documents which it says shows the first indentured African American servant is an ancestor of President Obama's mother.

"We have two of the most significant Africans in our country's history being directly related to each other," Joseph Shumway, an genealogist, told CNN.

Shumway was part of a team of four genealogists who say they worked more than 500 hours to establish the connection between Obama's family and that of John Punch, an indentured servant who was sentenced to a life of slavery after an unsuccessful escape attempt in colonial Virginia.

The researchers found the new connection to the president's African roots through an unlikely link, that of Obama's Caucasian mother.  President Obama's African American roots had previously been tied to his father's Kenyan birth. But as genealogists were pouring through documents tracing Stanley Ann Dunham’s ancestors, they found a connection to the Bunch family which had recently published DNA evidence that they had roots in sub-Saharan Africa. FULL POST

Topics: President Obama • The Buzz • The Family
July 4th, 2012
08:57 AM ET

The politics of presidential vacations in an election year


CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian reports the Obamas will not be vacationing again in Martha's Vineyard this year. He examines the "optics" of presidential vacations especially in an election year.

Martha's Vineyard is a no go this summer for First Family vacation
July 3rd, 2012
12:48 PM ET

Martha's Vineyard is a no go this summer for First Family vacation

WASHINGTON (CNN) –A senior administration official tells CNN the first family will not be vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard this summer as they have done for the past three years.

There had been plenty of speculation about the president’s plans given the potential image clash during an election year, of a vacation at an expensive estate on a posh New England island.

Instead of an extended vacation the president is likely to take some long weekends this summer, but where and when is still unclear the official said.

Topics: The Buzz • The Family • Vacation
Michelle Obama signs her book for a lucky few
June 12th, 2012
02:58 PM ET

Michelle Obama signs her book for a lucky few

Neva Ikner and her friend Donna Harper arrived at the Barnes and Noble book store in Northwest Washington D.C. at 6:30 Tuesday morning to get a good spot in line for a Michelle Obama book signing.

But this was their second time standing in line for this event. They first came last Friday around the same time to purchase the book and get security clearance in order to have the opportunity to come back and meet the first lady in-person. They had no complaints though. "This is history," Ikner said, "When are we going to get this opportunity again?"

A mere 200 lucky book fans were able to attend the book signing, which was her first, and Mrs. Obama says, likely the only one.

Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson brought her three young daughters to Tuesday's book signing. To have the first lady take "such an interest in health and the health of children - I think that's wonderful," she said.

Topics: Michelle Obama • The Family
Michelle Obama wants to trade places with Beyonce!
May 24th, 2012
06:19 PM ET

Michelle Obama wants to trade places with Beyonce!

First Lady Michelle Obama says if she could be anyone else in the world it would be Beyonce! Mrs. Obama tells PEOPLE Magazine in an interview on news stands Friday, "Gosh. If I had some gift, I’d be Beyoncé, I’d be some great singer. The power of music, being able to play an instrument…It looks like musicians just have the most fun."

The first lady also says the president serenades her at the White House. "Sometimes I can’t get him to stop singing. He loves it in the shower in the morning, sings to the kids. But it’s not a song. He’ll sing one line of something romantic or cute."

The interview for PEOPLE as well as several television appearances next week is an effort by Mrs. Obama to publicize her new book on The White House kitchen garden, "American Grown."

The White House says she will appear on Good Morning America, The View, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Live! with Kelly. The first lady's proceeds from the book will be donated to the National Park Foundation to be used for programs that promote healthy eating habits a pet cause of hers according to the White House.

Easter Egg Roll Suspense
The first family at the 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll.
April 2nd, 2012
01:52 PM ET

Easter Egg Roll Suspense

The anticipation is building for some 30,000 kids and their parents for this year's 134th annual rite of spring at the White House: The Easter Egg Roll.

Now just one week out and the White House is teasing us with snippets of information.

Monday they released the much anticipated list of costumed characters who will be prancing around the White House lawn.

There are all the usual suspects like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Clifford the Big Red Dog and the Cat in the Hat.

But they'll be joined by movie characters, Alex the Lion from Madagascar 3 and those Penguins of Madagascar who are described on their website as an "elite strike force with unmatched commando skills." Hmm, the Secret Service might take exception to that!

The First Lady is putting her imprint on the festivities tailoring the activities to promote health and wellness keeping with this year's theme “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move!” Michelle Obama's signature "Let's Move" initiative tackles the problem of childhood obesity. FULL POST

February 20th, 2012
02:26 PM ET

Note to Michelle Obama: It’s ‘Washington’s Birthday’

(CNN) - Count the first lady among those who may not know the official name of today’s holiday.

Michelle Obama wished her famous husband a “Happy President’s Day” on twitter earlier Monday, declaring @BarackObama her “personal favorite.” The tweet was signed “-MO,” which the Obama campaign has said means it comes from the first lady directly.

The only problem? There is no such thing as Presidents Day. The official name of the holiday is “Washington’s Birthday,” according to the Office of Personnel Management, the agency in charge of federal employees.

“Washington’s Birthday” (his actual birthday is February 22) was declared a federal holiday in the late 1800’s and moved to the third Monday of February in the 1970’s. There have since been various failed congressional attempts to rename the holiday “President’s Day” to also honor Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is February 12.

Few, including the first lady, refer to today as Washington’s Birthday thanks to the scores of car dealerships, mattress sellers, and other retailers who long ago determined “President’s Day sale” rolls off the tongue easier.

- CNN’s Larry Shaughnessy contributed to this report

Topics: Michelle Obama • The Buzz • The Family