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Michelle Obama hints again: May not be returning to Chicago

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WASHINGTON--For the second time, First Lady Michelle Obama has hinted that returning to Chicago may not be in the future for the Obama family.

Asked in a USA Today interview "Do you miss living in Chicago?" Mrs. Obama in reply raised the prospect that once the Obama family leaves the White House they may build their lives "somewhere else."

Mrs. Obama made her comments to USA Today's Susan Page in in connection with the release Tuesday of her book, "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America."

"The community in Chicago, you know, you always miss that. But what I have found -- and I talk to my kids about this all the time -- is that home is where we are at any given time. Where me, Barack, Malia and Sasha, where our family is. And right now, we're all here (in Washington, D.C.)," Mrs. Obama said.

"So this is home in so many ways. I mean, we have a house that has stuff in it back in Chicago. We have friends that we love who we invite here all the time. But the truth is, is that if you plucked us up and put us anywhere right now, what we'd know with this change is that we're always a family when we're together. And in the end, that's what really matters.

"So while I like going back to Chicago -- I like to see the lake -- this is home now because this is where we've built our lives. And when it's time to leave, we'll build it somewhere else."

Mrs. Obama--who returned to Chicago on May 20 for the NATO Summit-- has talked in the past about her dislike of Chicago winters and she brought it up again in the USA Today interview--as well as her fondness for the lakefront.

"There's nothing more beautiful in Chicago than a crisp, bright, sunny day driving or walking around, along the lake, and you see that water just sparkling, and the boats just bobbing on their buoys, and people are out really enjoying the city, and the skyline is breathtaking, and the river is running through the city.

"I mean, I could go on. I love my city -- especially in the summer. In the winter, it's another story," she said.

Last April, during a talk with the children of White House staffers, Mrs. Obama hinted the Obama family may not return to Chicago when Obama is out of office.

On coming back to Chicago, Mrs. Obama said she has been thinking more about her future and "I'm not sure whether the old life will be there. But that's a very profound question."


Asked, "Would you ever want to move back to your old life?" Mrs. Obama answered, "My old life? I don't know if that's possible. We still have our house in Chicago, and it's there, and we go back and visit.

But who knows what -- I don't know what the future holds. So one of the things I've learned growing up and being a grown-up is that you always look forward -- you look to where you're going to go, as opposed to looking back. So we're going to see how -- what the future has for us. Okay? Does that make sense to you? So I think more about what am I going to do in the future.

"And who knows. I've got two kids. They're going to be going to school. They're going to be going to college one day. There's a lot that's going to be going on. So I'm not sure. I'm not sure whether the old life will be there. But that's a very profound question. Thank you for that."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 28, 2012 9:33 PM.

Michelle Obama sponsors USS ILLINOIS: Navy's first female submariners was the previous entry in this blog.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, May 29, 2012. Medal of Freedom is the next entry in this blog.

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