The press has always had access to presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, but for the first time, Barack’s wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha sat down for an interview together.
"Access Hollywood’s" Maria Menounos met up with the family in Butte, Mont., on Independence Day, where she found the Obamas in a carefree and relaxed mood.
It may have been a campaign stop for the Obamas, but family, as always, came first.
“Today is Malia’s birthday,” Michelle said. “What do we usually do for your birthday that we’re going to do next weekend, but not this weekend?”
“Birthday party!” Malia cheered.
“We usually march in a parade somewhere and then it’s a birthday extravaganza,” Michelle explained.
“Girls in my house,” Barack added. “Sleepovers!”
If Barack’s wife is his rock, then his two daughters — 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha — help him keep it real by dispensing free advice on how to keep daddy cool.
“My friend Sam, she came over and daddy has never met Sam before,” Malia said. “He was like, ‘Hi!’ and he shook her hand and I was like, ‘You know daddy, you really don’t shake kids’ hands that much. You shake adults’ hands. And he’s like, ‘Then what do you do?’ and I was like, ‘You know, you just wave or you say hi.’”
“She keeps you cool,” Menounos noted.
“She basically avoids me embarrassing her by giving these tips, especially when I’m around her friends,” Barack said, laughing.
With the campaign trail only getting busier, the family has learned to maximize their time together.
“We incorporate a lot of fun,” Michelle said. “We have family with us now. We’ve got water pistols!”
An impromptu family game of soccer followed the Barack and Michelle’s campaign speeches on the Fourth of July.
“The girls are having fun running around, so you know, we’re usually doing picnics and fairs and ice cream parlors and things that are fun for the kids, and obviously fun for us, and a lot more fun than listening to daddy talk,” Michelle said.
“They basically cut when I start making speeches,” Barack laughed.
“It’s like, is he talking?” Michelle said.
Though they find quality family time while crisscrossing the country running for president, it isn’t always easy. The Obamas, however, stay connected every day.
“Being on the trail and trying to keep the family together, the relationship together, how do you talk on a daily basis?” Menounos asked.
“We are calling each other at least once a day,” Barack said. “I’m usually the one on the road so I’m calling, calling home. And we’ve got a computer that has, a monitor [and] a video feed, that we use sometimes.”
“We save our conversation – if we have issues or things to discuss with the kids – we usually do that over the phone,” Michelle added. “We’ve gotten used to being able to communicate pretty well over the phone.”
“Although,” Barack interjects, “Malia is much better at talking on the phone than Sasha. Sasha gets bored with talking to me. She says, ‘OK, OK. Bye!’”
But what about romance?
Michelle splits her time between being a mom to the children at their home in Chicago and joining the senator on the busy campaign trail.
“How do you have an intimate moment with her — even just venting about something without everyone knowing?” Menounos asked.
“We have our alone time,” Michelle explained. “Our staff, they’re good about making sure that we get space. And you know, now that the primary is over, Barack is home at least once a week and we’re really doing family stuff. We’re going on bike rides and going swimming and playing tennis.”
Barack and Michelle first met following Harvard Law School, and Michelle said Barack “swept her off her feet.” They were married three years later. That was 15 years ago.
“What is the most recent romantic gesture you guys have done for each other?” Maria asked.
“Barack is very romantic,” Michelle said. “You brought me flowers the other day.”
“I did,” Barack said.