The Obama Marriage in the Tune of Beyoncé

In Vogue, the POTUS admits his wife "upgrades" him, but scoffs at the idea he's "catered" to.

The Obamas dance at the first inaugural ball, Jan. 20, 2009, as Beyoncé sings “At Last.” Win McNamee/Getty Images

According to Vogue, this is the one moment in the interview when President Obama gets a little feisty, dropping his “Hawaiian mellowness” and leaning forward to expound on Jarrett’s observation and defend his wife’s role.

” … I think it would be a mistake to think that my wife, when I walk in the door, is, ‘Hey, honey, how was your day? Let me give you a neck rub.’ It’s not as if Michelle is thinking in terms of, ‘How do I cater to my husband?’ I think it’s much more, ‘We’re a team, and how do I make sure that this guy is together enough that he’s paying attention to his girls and not forgetting the basketball game that he’s supposed to be going to on Sunday?’ So she’s basically managing me quite effectively — that’s what it comes down to.”

The “Cater 2 U” reference is probably coincidental, but the similarities are clear. In Destiny’s Child’s last hit single, the former trio sings, “I got your slippers, your dinner, your dessert and so much more. Anything you want, just let me cater to you.”

That “so much more” line seems to be the one the Obamas walk publicly and in private.

“I would never say that Michelle’s a better woman [since marrying me],” the president told Vogue after explicitly stating that his wife does, in fact, make him better, “but I will say she’s a little more patient.”

” ‘I would say I’m a better woman. You couldn’t say it,’ ” the first lady clarified.

” ‘I couldn’t say it,’ ” the president conceded.

But what he can say can also be summed up by those two different hit songs: that his wife has upgraded him from behind the scenes (and in front of the camera) — but what she doesn’t do is cater to him. 

Helena Andrews is a contributing editor at The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter. 

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