The first lady faced some tough questioning from a cadre of 200 kids who gathered today in the White House's East Room.
As children of executive office employees, they visited for the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
One question that gave Michelle Obama
pause was from a youngster who wanted to know how she would react if she got a call at the White House about something "bad" that was happening. The first lady asked, “Something 'bad' like what?” The child responded: “Like the earthquake that happened in China
, what would you do?”
Mrs. Obama reflected on the question for a moment and then replied, “Well, first of all I’d wake my husband up if it were at night, and I would say, 'Hey, buddy, you’re the president, get down to the Oval Office and call some leaders.'”
After a laugh from her young audience, she told them that the beauty of her job is that she’s married to the president and that it is his job to worry about things like that. She said her husband would take the appropriate action, calling all the right people, and she would ask him how it turned out when she woke up the next morning.
In answering a question about how she liked her job as first lady, she said when she wakes up in the morning, her first job is “making sure that my kids get to school on time and they do their homework.” After that, she said, she gets to have the fun of being a first lady, doing things like visiting schools, planting gardens and meeting with military families.
“It feels good, actually,” she said.
The vegetable garden and White House lawns were on the scheduled tour for the young visitors. The first lady, perhaps with a momentary memory lag, seemed to be referring to a popular former White House resident when she told the kids to keep an eye out for “Barney.” She quickly corrected that, saying you’ll get to see “where Barney used to run and now Bo, our dog, plays.”
Proving he is already a popular member of the first family, almost all the children sprang to their feet to pet and greet the first pooch as he made his entrance into the East Room. Bo, with his wiry build and wagging tail, could very well be what many of them will remember most about this very special day.
Published at 6:27 PM EDT on Apr 22, 2010
Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington