Is the Magic Gone With Barack Obama? Ask Michelle Obama

Pressured to kiss on camera at a basketball game, the first couple resists, then finally gives in.

President Obama and his family, along with crazy uncle and deputy leader of the free world Joe Biden, attended a USA Basketball exhibition game against Brazil in D.C. last night, and some cheeky camera operator though he had a good idea -- he'd put Barack and Michelle Obama on the "Kiss Cam," a massive peer-pressure experiment in which couples are shamed into smooching when they're put on the JumboTron. (Confidential to camera man: It's not a great idea to make an enemy of the president by catching him in your sights. When his people get their lens trained on you from above, a missile usually isn't far behind).

The first couple at first resisted -- neither seemed especially eager to kiss, and Michelle Obama looked steadfastly ahead to avoid an impending peck. Eventually the camera panned away as the crowd jeered and booed. (They were clearly not saying "Yooouuuk.") After some urging from both Malia Obama and (of course) Biden, the Obamas got a second chance, and the First Lady acquiesced. It's tempting to see the moment as metaphorical: Obama may not be the hero he was four years ago, but his reelection team hopes that voters, just like his wife, will come around to him in the end. But maybe it's simpler than that. LeBron James doesn't really put us in the mood either.

Presented by

David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Politics

Just In