„Michelle was so mature beyond her years, so thoughtful and perceptive. She really prodded me about what the job would be like because she had lots of choices. I offered it to her on the spot, which was totally inappropriate because I should have talked to the mayor first. But I just knew she was really special.
Barack never grills. That's part of what is so effective about him: He puts you completely at ease, and the next thing you know he's asking more and more probing questions and gets you to open up and reflect a little bit. That night we talked about his childhood compared to my childhood and realized we both had rather…unusual childhoods.
Married in 1983, separated in 1987, and divorced in 1988. Enough said. He was a physician. He passed away. I want to say in about 1991.
We grew up together. We were friends since childhood. In a sense, he was the boy next door. I married without really appreciating how hard divorce would be.
I have to tell you: My daughter is in seventh heaven about me being in Vogue. Nothing else I have done has fazed her at all. But this! She's like, 'Oh, Mom. You don't understand. This is really big.'
I have never heard him yell, Ever. Not once in seventeen years. He's not a yeller.
Because my dad worked at the university, he could swing by and take Laura to school and pick her up from her first day of nursery school until the day she graduated from high school. They would often have breakfast and have these wonderful conversations.“
— Valerie Jarrett
[https://web.archive.org/web/20080930190831/http://www.style.com/vogue/feature/2008_Oct_Valerie_Jarrett// September 2008 interview with Vogue]