During an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts on “20/20” Sunday night, the former first lady said she “wasn’t impressed” with all of the attention paid to the 27-year-old first-year Harvard Law student.
Her law firm, Sidley & Austin, didn’t typically take first-year law students on as summer associates, but made an exception for the law prodigy.
“I have my suspicions when a bunch of white folks fawn all over a black man because I sorta think, ‘Ok, he can talk straight so they think he’s wonderful.’ So that was my theory,” Obama recalled.
“And his name was Barack Obama and he was from Hawaii. I thought, ‘What?’ You know, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” Obama said.
Then he showed up late for their first meeting.
“I was like, is he trifling? The black man’s going to be late on the first day? I was like, ‘Um,'” she recalled.
When he finally turned up though, she was attracted to him at first sight.
“And then in walks Barack Obama. And Barack Obama has always walked like Barack Obama,” she said. “Like he’s got all the time in the world. He had that stride, I was like ‘Dude, you’re cute.’ But in my mind, I was like —”
“Not interested?” Roberts suggested.
“Off limits. Not even not interested,” Obama said. “I’m not going to date one of the few black summer associates, Robin, how tacky.”
But by July, Obama broke down Michelle Robinson’s resolve, and she agreed to go on a date with him.
“We had been hanging out, getting closer. Barack had suggested that we date,” she said. “But I was like ‘No, no be my friend. Do this, do that. It wouldn’t be right, no.’ And he was like, ‘You’re crazy, we should date. I like you, you like me,’ and I liked that about him. He was straightforward; he wasn’t playing games.”
At the end of their first date, they stopped to get ice cream and it was then that they had their first kiss.
“He played it real smooth,” she recalled. “He just leaned in for a kiss and that really was it. From that kiss on we were — it was love, and he was my man.”
The couple married three years later and went on to have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.