Barack Obama on The Women Who Made Him

Barack(bəräk) Obama(ōˈbäːmə) on The Women Who Made Him

InStyle: What’s the most badass(ˈbadˌas) thing about Michelle, Malia(ə), and Sasha?

Barack Obama: They all have multiple badass qualities. I think people know Michelle well enough to know how amazing she can be as a public speaker. They probably are less aware of what it’s like to work out with Michelle when she’s really in her groove. And sometimes that includes her boxing. You don’t want to get in the way when she’s working on a bag — including some kicks. There’s force there.

Sasha is, as Malia describes it, completely confident about her own take on the world and is not cowed(kou) or intimidated(inˈtiməˌdāt) — and never has been — by anybody’s titles, anybody’s credentials(krəˈden(t)SHəl). If she thinks something’s wrong or right, she will say so. When she was 4, 5, 6 years old, once she made a decision, she would dig in and couldn’t be steered off it. I write in the book about how we were trying to get her to taste(tāst) caviar(ˈkavēˌär) when we were visiting Russia. She was like, “Mnn-nnh. No. Sorry. That looks slimy(ˈslīmē). It’s nasty(ˈnastē). I’m not going to do it, even if I’ve got to give up dessert(dəˈzərt).” And that part of her character has always been there.

And Malia, she is just buoyant(ˈboiənt). She’s somebody who enjoys people, enjoys life, and enjoys conversation. She’s never bored(bôrd), which is a badass quality that can take you places.