Marian Robinson Moved To The White House With The Obamas Because She ‘Was Worried About Their Safety’
Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, gave her very first nationally televised interview on Wednesday morning, finally explaining how it felt to watch her daughter and son-in-law become the most powerful couple in the world.
“It’s pretty difficult,” Mrs. Robinson said when CBS This Morning host Gayle King asked how she wrapped her mind around the Obamas becoming America’s first family.
During her appearance, Mrs. Robinson also shared why she decided to uproot her life and move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during the Obama administration.
More from ESSENCE
“I felt like this was going to be a very hard life for both of them, and I was worried about their safety,” Mrs. Robinson admitted. “And I was worried about my grandkids–that’s what got me to move to D.C.”
The former First Lady echoed her mother’s thoughts, explaining she wanted her mother to be with the family to help instill a sense of normalcy in the lives of her young daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama who were just seven and ten at the beginning of their father’s presidency.
“I wanted them to come home to family,” Mrs. Obama explained. “There were parts of the girls’ life that I just knew were going to be ok because mom was there. When I traveled internationally grandma was there. When I wasn’t home at the end of the day, grandma was there.”
While she helped her granddaughters navigate their life in the spotlight, Mrs. Robinson didn’t let living in the White House go to her head.
“I talked them into allowing me to do my own laundry,” the 81-year-old said. And she even taught Sasha and Malia how to do their laundry, too.
She doesn’t miss the scrutiny and attention that came with living in the White House, but Mrs. Robinson said she does miss the people–and the staff–she interacted with daily because “they were like family to me.”
Like her mom, Mrs. Obama doesn’t miss being under the hot glare of criticism levied against those living in the East Wing either.
“The eight years was more than enough,” she explained, once again putting a stop to any speculation that a presidential run would be in her future. “ What I realized over the years is that home is where we are. The White House happened to be our home for eight years, but we took all that love and energy and we just moved it to another house.”
Before the interview ended, King asked Mrs. Robinson what makes her most proud about her daughter. Mrs. Robinson’s answers was both cute and endearing:
“When I grow up, I would like to be like Michelle Obama,” she said.
So would we, Grandma Robinson. So would we.