Barack Obama didn’t always have nice possessions. When he met his wife, Michelle, he didn’t have a lot of money, and his living arrangements were not great due to his lack of finances.
On the latest episode of his podcast, Renegade, with singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen, the 44th president of the United States, reflected on how little he had during his initial dealings with Michelle.
“I had like three shirts,” Obama said. “I had one plate, and I lived in these scruffy-looking apartments and all of my furniture was, you know, scavenged from out of the street.”
He added, “I knew that, that there laid temptation. “Like if I went down the path of starting to want stuff … that, that was a hamster wheel you never got off of.”
Barack and Michelle met each other in 1989 at a law firm in Chicago. During this time, their lifestyles differed from one another. Obama states, “When I meet her, she is driving a Saab – and she’s joined a wine club. I remember the first time, you know, she invites me to a party with a bunch of her friends, and they’re all these young professionals … And I walk in.I had one sports jacket that didn’t quite fit me right – that I’d gotten off some discount store.”
Obama says his money views helped play a vital role in their lives and years as a politician. His dealings with life and money helped people connect with him on a more personal level.
“Ironically, I do think it was part of my power as a politician,” he said. “People could sense that Michelle and I had lived through and understood what it was like to have a whole bunch of student loans to pay, what it was … what it was like to have some credit card debt and what it was like to have to say no to things.”