As we have touched on before, Barack and Michelle Obama managed to avoid much of the scandal, controversy, and general embarrassment that later plagued Donald and Melania Trump after they moved into the White House. And their major secret to looking so good? Simple: they understood how to control their image, including what they said, in a way the Trumps never could.
However, Barack and Michelle sometimes let the veil slip on some of their most embarrassing moments. Most of these moments weren’t captured on camera, but thanks to the Obamas’ confessions, we know every embarrassing detail.
Ready to learn about the most embarrassing stories Barack and Michelle Obama ever shared? Keep reading to learn more!
Barack Obama had his credit card declined
These days, the Obamas are some of the wealthiest people in the country. Clearly, Barack Obama was able to leverage his time as president into a very profitable career. However, he once told an embarrassing story that highlighted how much he previously struggled with money.
As reported by The New York Post, State Senator Obama had just lost his first bid to break into federal politics. He then went with a friend to the DNC event in Los Angeles, but when he went to rent a car, his card was declined because he was all out of money. While he went to LA to forget about his political loss, everywhere he went served as a reminder of how much money he had effectively wasted on a losing campaign.
Michelle Obama’s mom doesn’t think she’s a star
By now, almost everyone has had at least one embarrassing text message exchange with a parent. That happened to Michelle Obama when she was texting her mom, and it turned out the older Obama wasn’t afraid to crack some jokes!
As reported by PopSugar, Michelle Obama was texting her mother about recently appearing at the Grammys. It doesn’t take long before Mama Obama asks if her daughter met any of “the real stars,” leaving Michelle to gently explain that, as First Lady of the United States, she is very much a star in her own right.
Barack Obama confessed to running into walls and desks
Despite controlling his public image so closely, Barack Obama was never afraid to lower his guard in order to help win over a crowd. And as USA Today reports, he once did this when speaking to a group of young children and ended up telling them a fairly embarrassing detail about his own life.
“Running into the wall is par for the course for me,” he said, before following up and saying “I’m running into doors and desks all the time.” While more than a few of us are guilty of doing the same thing, it’s pretty funny to imagine the most powerful man in the world hurting himself every day by walking into White House walls.
Michelle Obama: not previously proud of her country
For the most part, Michelle Obama was better even than her husband at not making remarks that were overly inflammatory. But that all changed when a comment she made at a Milwaukee political rally in 2015 went viral in the worst possible way.
According to ABC News, she said, “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country…and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.” Critics were quick to point out how odd (to say the least) it was to hear someone who had been FLOTUS for many years declare that she was only now proud of her country.
Barack Obama compared terror groups to the NBA
While he didn’t make the “war on terror” a cornerstone of his administration like George W. Bush Jr. did, Barack Obama focused hard on eliminating terror threats around the world. However, one particular comment he said accidentally made it sound like he did not take the threat seriously at all.
As reported by Yahoo! News, Obama once said this about the militants who captured Fallujah: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” This was meant to be a simple metaphor about the clothes metaphorically not making the man, but as the Islamic State claimed more lives, Obama’s comment seemed more and more careless and flippant.
Michelle Obama admits to getting her kids confused
Michelle Obama is an expert at getting the public on her side, and she often made funny appearances on shows hosted by television personalities such as Ellen DeGeneres. And when she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, she was mostly doing comedy bits, but she ended up revealing some embarrassing facts about himself.
For example, as Entertainment Tonight reports, she responded to a joking prompt about her forgetting the names of her children by saying, “You know, they agree. They get so mad every time I mess their names up. I’m like, ‘Who are you?’” While we know quite a few parents that share this kind of confusion, admitting to the world you can’t always get your kids’ names right will always be a bit embarrassing.
Barack Obama kept telling Joe Biden to not run for president
Joe Biden faithfully served as Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years. And memes about these two being goofy best friends often went viral for being so wholesome and sweet. Behind closed doors, though, things were sometimes a bit more awkward between them.
According to GQ, Obama talked Biden out of running for president in 2016 because he thought Hillary Clinton was the better candidate, and he did his best to talk Biden out of running in 2020. Considering that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 and Biden defeated Trump handily in 2020, Obama’s advice seems pretty embarrassing…it would have been better for Biden, and quite possibly the country, if he’d said nothing to his former vice president at all!