“I also want to thank Michelle Obama for, after the presidency, sticking with me, because I think she felt an obligation to the country to stay on, but once her official duties were over, it wasn’t clear,” Obama said, to laughter from the audience.
He continued on a serious note.
“I love my wife and I’m grateful for her, and I do believe that it was America’s great good fortune to have her as first lady,” he said.
Both Obamas have re-emerged in the spotlight in recent weeks to continue their work in public service.
In his speech at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, the former president called out Republicans after they voted to repeal his signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.
“I hope that current members of Congress recall that it actually doesn’t take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential,” he said. “But it does require some courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm ― those who often have no access to the corridors of power.”
The former first lady has continued her work in education. She held a “College Signing Day” celebration last week in conjunction with MTV, an event she began as first lady to promote higher education.
“I might not live in the White House anymore, but Barack and I are going to keep on celebrating you all and supporting you and lifting you up no matter what house we live in,” she said on signing day this year.
And at an event last week unveiling new plans for his presidential library in Chicago, the former president announced that the couple will donate $2 million to support a summer jobs program for young people in the city.