President Obama spent most of his conversation with Tell Me More host Michel Martin discussing the latest fits and starts of deficit reduction and debt ceiling negotiations. The final deadline to raise the debt limit is August 2.
But the president also discussed another big day coming in a couple of weeks — his 50th birthday is August 4th. President Obama explained that if Congress is looking for a gift, a final agreement on the debt would be perfect. Otherwise, he says he is taking the milestone in stride.
"You know, I feel real good about 5-0... Obviously I've gotten a little greyer since I took this job, but otherwise, I feel pretty good," he said. "And Michelle, you know, says that, you know, – she – she- she still thinks I'm - I'm cute, you know, and I guess that's, that's all that matters isn't it?"
What doesn't matter, according to President Obama, is the first lady's love of the occasional burger or french fry. Michelle Obama's recent trip to the Shake Shack, a local fast food place, drew a handful of salty reports. Some commentators peppered her with criticism that her high-calorie feast undermined her campaign to get American children to eat less and exercise more.
The president's response was essentially: Llighten up. "Michelle doesn't take that too seriously," he said. "Michelle's never hid the fact that her favorite food is french fries. Or that she's going to have a burger once in a while."
Alicia Montgomery is Tell Me More's editor.