Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Michelle Obama talks to kids on Christmas Eve: Tracking Santa

| No Comments

P122412PS-0124

From the White House: "First Lady Michelle Obama reacts while talking on the phone to children across the country as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program. Mrs. Obama answered the phone calls from Kailua, Hawaii, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2012."
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Click below for transcript

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the First Lady

________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release December 24, 2012

REMARKS BY THE FIRST LADY

TO CHILDREN ON THE

NORAD SANTA TRACKER CALL

Via Telephone

12:04 P.M. HAST

MRS. OBAMA: Hello?

CHILD: Hello!

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, this is Michelle Obama, the First Lady. Who am I talking to?

JAKE: Jake and Ryan and Kyle Schaack from --

CHILD: From Rocklin, California.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, wow. Are you guys excited that's it's Christmas Eve?

CHILDREN: Yeah!

MRS. OBAMA: It's very exciting, isn't it, huh?

CHILDREN: Yeah!

MRS. OBAMA: Well, thanks for calling, because I'm here working and looking -- keeping track of where Santa is on satellite. And I know you guys are calling to find out where Santa and his sleigh are right now, aren't you?

CHILD: Yes! We're on the computer right now.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, do you see that he was last spotted in Chad? And now he's headed for Libya right now. And they can track his sleigh. He's moving pretty fast. That's pretty exciting, isn't it?

KYLE: He's going like 100 miles an hour.

CHILD: Way more than that, Kyle.

KYLE: Or like 10,000 miles an hour.

CHILD: Okay, so thanks for talking to us!

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, thanks for calling. You guys go to sleep soon now so that he'll come to your house, all right?

CHILD: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, have a merry Christmas, okay?

CHILDREN: You, too!

MRS. OBAMA: Bye!

CHILDREN: Bye!

* * * * *

FISCHER: Hello?

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, who am I speaking to?

FISCHER: Fischer.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Fischer. This is Michelle Obama, the First Lady. How are you?

FISCHER: Good.

MRS. OBAMA: Where are you calling from? Where do you live?

FISCHER: North Carolina.

MRS. OBAMA: You live in North Carolina? Are you excited about Christmas Eve?

FISCHER: Yes, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah? How old are you?

FISCHER: Five.

MRS. OBAMA: You're five? Well, you know what, do you need some help? Do you want to know where Santa is right now -- where Santa and his sleigh is?

FISCHER: Yes, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, I'm looking at the computer now. The satellite -- there's a satellite that tracks him and it says that he was last spotted in Libya, which is all the way near Africa, in the Middle East. But he's headed for -- he's going to be in Libya for another five or so seconds, and then he's moving on. And you know how many gifts he's delivered already?

FISCHER: No, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: More than 3 billion gifts he's already delivered. Isn't that something?

FISCHER: Yes, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: Have you been a good boy this year?

FISCHER: Yes, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: And what's the one thing you want for Christmas?

FISCHER: A four-wheeler.

MRS. OBAMA: What's that?

FISCHER: A four-wheeler.

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah? All right, well, make sure you go to bed on time. Don't stay up too late so that Santa will make it to your house, okay?

FISCHER: Yes, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, have a merry Christmas, sweetie. Okay?

FISCHER: Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, bye-bye.

FISCHER: Bye.

* * * * *

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, is this Lilliana, Abigail and Kyle?

MRS. THOMAS: Yes, it is, and this is Mom. We're so excited to talk to you.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Mom. How are you? It's great to talk to you guys.

MRS. THOMAS: We had to pull ourselves together. (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: Where are you all calling from?

MRS. THOMAS: We're in Winona, New Jersey.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, exciting. It must be just --

MRS. THOMAS: Yes, and it just started snowing.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, that's perfect.

MRS. THOMAS: Yes, and the children are so excited they had to collect themselves before they talked to you. (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: (Laughter.) What time is it there?

MRS. THOMAS: It's 5:13 p.m.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, so you got a little while -- a whole evening full of excitement before bedtime, right?

MRS. THOMAS: Yes, they're just -- look, this just made their whole, like, life. (Laughter.) They're pretty excited now if they weren't already.

MRS. OBAMA: (Laughter.) Well, it's pretty exciting around here, too.

MRS. THOMAS: I bet it is. All right, well, Abby, she's the littlest one and she had something that she would like to say to you. Is that good?

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, that sounds good.

ABIGAIL: What's your favorite Christmas song?

MRS. OBAMA: My favorite Christmas song? That's a good question, Abby. I like "Jingle Bells," because everybody can sing "Jingle Bells." What's your favorite song?

MRS. THOMAS: What's yours?

ABIGAIL: Mmm, I like "Silver Bells."

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, "Silver Bells" -- that's a good one. That's a good one.

MRS. THOMAS: Okay, so here we have Abby's twin brother, Kyle.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Kyle!

KYLE: Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: Do you have a question for me?

KYLE: Yes.

MRS. THOMAS: You do? Is it a good one? (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: Okay.

KYLE: What was your favorite present when you were little?

MRS. OBAMA: What was my favorite what?

KYLE: Present.

MRS. THOMAS: What was your favorite present when you were little?

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, when I was little. I loved Barbie dolls. I was a big Barbie doll kid, and every Christmas I got a new Barbie. One year I got the Barbie townhouse and the camper. It was very exciting. I liked everything Barbie. What do you --

KYLE: We have a whole closet.

MRS. OBAMA: You do?

MRS. THOMAS: We have a whole closet full of Barbie dolls.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, my goodness. Well, you're just like me when I was little. I loved Barbie.

MRS. THOMAS: There's just one here.

MRS. OBAMA: Just one?

MRS. THOMAS: All right. Well, next, Lilli (sp) is just dying to talk to you. All right, Lilli, speak.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Lilli!

LILLIANA: Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: How old are you, Lilli?

LILLIANA: Huh?

MRS. OBAMA: How old are you?

LILLIANA: Eleven.

MRS. OBAMA: Eleven, yeah. You sound like the mature one in the group.

LILLIANA: No. (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, what's your question?

LILLIANA: I saw the TV show when everybody was decorating the White House. About how many Christmas trees do you think that there are around the whole White House?

MRS. OBAMA: Around the entire White House we have 54 Christmas trees this year.

LILLIANA: Wow.

MRS. OBAMA: A lot, yeah. We had a lot of Christmas trees. And it's a pretty big house, and they have trees in every part of the White House. There is a tree in the Oval Office where the President works. And there's trees outlining all the entrances of the White House. So we have a lot of trees, so it's very exciting. One day you have to come and visit us during the Christmas holidays because the house is really pretty. You think you could do that one year?

MRS. THOMAS: She would love -- yes, she would love that.

ABIGAIL: I would, too!

MRS. OBAMA: Well, you all should come. So do you want to know where Santa is? Because I'm working with -- I'm looking at the satellite right now and they told me that when they last spotted Santa he was over Italy. So now he's in Europe, in Italy. And he's going to be in Palermo for a few seconds, but then he's heading to Naples, Italy. And right now, according to my sources, he's delivered more than 3 billion gifts already. Can you believe that?

ABIGAIL: Wow! I looked at it and the numbers were rising like every millisecond.

MRS. OBAMA: They are moving so fast. It's amazing, but that's how fast Santa Claus is. I mean, it's like magic what he can do. Well, you know what, guys, I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, okay? Because I can tell you guys have been good this year, haven't you?

MRS. THOMAS: They try. (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: Trying counts, right?

MRS. THOMAS: Yes, it does.

MRS. OBAMA: Trying counts.

LILLIANA: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Bye!

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, it was great talking to you guys. Try to get to bed early, okay? I know it's hard, but try to close your eyes and get some rest.

LILLIANA: Okay, thank you!

MRS. OBAMA: All right, you guys have a merry Christmas. It was great talking to you.

CHILDREN: And a happy new year! (Laughter.)

* * * * *

MRS. OBAMA: Hello?

MRS. KUMF: Hello?

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, it's Michelle Obama, how are you?

MRS. KUMF: I'm good. Can I put you on speakerphone for the kids?

MRS. OBAMA: Absolutely.

MRS. KUMF: Okay, hold on one minute.

MRS. OBAMA: This is Michelle Obama. How are you guys doing?

MRS. KUMF: Say hi!

CHILD: Hi!

MRS. OBAMA: Merry Christmas! All right, who do I have on the line? Tell me your name and your age.

NICOLAS: I'm Nicolas and I'm 12 years old.

MRS. OBAMA: Ah, Nicolas, you sound like a grown man. Are you as tall as your voice is low? (Laughter.)

NICOLAS: Yes.

ELI: I'm Eli and I'm eight years old.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Eli. Nice to hear your voice. Who else is there?

RAQUEL: I'm Raquel.

MRS. KUMF: And you're seven.

RAQUEL: I'm seven.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, what a young lady.

RAQUEL: And I play the flute.

MRS. OBAMA: You play the flute?

RAQUEL: Yeah!

MRS. OBAMA: You know Malia used to play the flute. She stopped taking lessons, though.

RAQUEL: I can play it really well.

MRS. OBAMA: Really? Well, I hope you keep taking lessons.

MRS. KUMF: And we also have Ava. She will be two in January.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, Ava. I know she's very excited, huh?

MRS. KUMF: Yes, Santa, huh? (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: Well, where are you all calling from?

MRS. KUMF: We're in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

MRS. OBAMA: In Pittsburgh. Is it snowing there?

MRS. KUMF: Yeah, it snowed a little bit yesterday but it's not right now.

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah, well, it's an exciting time. You want to know where the satellite tracker has spotted Santa?

MRS. KUMF: Yes. You guys want to know where they spotted Santa?

MRS. OBAMA: I am looking at the tracker and he was last spotted over Rome, Italy. He is now in Europe. In a few minutes he's going to be heading over Venice, in Italy. So he's in Europe right now.

MRS. KUMF: Wow. Do you want to say anything else to our First Lady?

NICOLAS: Merry Christmas!

MRS. OBAMA: Merry Christmas you guys! I know you guys are going to have an amazing Christmas because my sources tell me that you guys have been great kids.

MRS. KUMF: How about that? Okay, thank you very much.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, you guys, take care. Merry Christmas.

MRS. KUMF: Merry Christmas, bye-bye.

* * * * *

MRS. OBAMA: Hello? Hi, this is Michelle Obama. How are you?

MRS. SCANSELL: Good, how are you?

MRS. OBAMA: Good. I hear that Abigail is on the line, too.

MRS. SCANSELL: Yes, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: Are you there, Abigail?

ABIGAIL: Mm-hmm.

MRS. OBAMA: How old are you, sweetie?

ABIGAIL: Six.

MRS. OBAMA: You are six? Oh, my goodness. What a big girl you are. Where are you calling from? Where do you live?

ABIGAIL: (Inaudible), Georgia.

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah? Are you excited about Christmas tomorrow?

ABIGAIL: Yes, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: Yes? Well, you know what? I can help you by letting you know where they've last seen Santa and his sleigh. Do you want to know where they've seen him last?

ABIGAIL: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Right now they've last spotted him flying over Rome, Italy. So he's all the way in Europe right now. And in a few seconds he's headed for Venice, in Italy. So right now he's in Europe and they see him, they see the sleigh. They can see a little red nose, so it looks like Rudolph is with him. And he's going to be heading your way pretty soon. Doesn't that sound great?

ABIGAIL: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Yes? But that means you got to get to bed early, okay?

ABIGAIL: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: Because he's not going to come until you're fast asleep, all right?

ABIGAIL: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, well, you sound like you've been a really good girl this year. Have you?

ABIGAIL: Yes, ma'am.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay. Well, you get a good night's sleep, and when you wake up, you have a very merry Christmas. Okay?

ABIGAIL: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, have fun tomorrow.

MRS. SCANSELL: Say have a good Christmas.

ABIGAIL: Have a good Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: Thanks for calling. Bye-bye.

ABIGAIL: Bye-bye.

* * * * *

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, how are you all doing? Is Kayla there?

KAYLA: Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Kayla. How old are you?

MRS. SCOFIELD: You're four, tell her.

KAYLA: Four.

MRS. OBAMA: You're four? Wow, you're a big girl. Are you excited about Santa coming tonight?

KAYLA: Yes!

MRS. OBAMA: Yes, it's very exciting. This is the most exciting night of the whole year, isn't it? Do you want me to help you? I can let you know where they've last seen Santa and his sleigh. Do you want to know?

KAYLA: Yes, yes!

MRS. OBAMA: Yes, yes. They've last spotted him -- he's all the way in Italy. Can you imagine that? Santa and his reindeer. And look, I'm looking at the satellite and they can see a little red nose shining in the sky. Who do you think that is?

KAYLA: Rudolph the Reindeer.

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah! And he's going to be heading to Croatia. That's another country in Europe. But he's heading your way, sweetie. But you've got to be fast asleep before he'll make his way to your house, okay?

KAYLA: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: So when mom and -- when they tell you that it's time for bed, you get snuggled up real comfy in your bed and go right to sleep, okay?

KAYLA: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. And then Santa will come and it'll be a very merry Christmas in the morning. Won't that be great?

KAYLA: Yes!

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Well, thanks for calling me, sweetie. And you have a merry Christmas and give your family big hugs for me, okay?

KAYLA: Okay. Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, babe. Bye-bye.

KAYLA: Bye-bye.

* * * * *

MRS. OBAMA: Hello?

ANTHONY: Hello?

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, is Anthony there?

ANTHONY: Yeah.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Anthony, it's Michelle Obama, the First Lady. How are you?

ANTHONY: Good.

MRS. OBAMA: How old are you, Anthony?

ANTHONY: Eleven.

MRS. OBAMA: You're eleven? Where do you live?

ANTHONY: Texas.

MRS. OBAMA: Texas, nice. Well, have you been -- are you calling to find out where Santa is right now?

ANTHONY: Yep.

MRS. OBAMA: Because I'm working with the people who track Santa by satellite, and I'm looking at the screen right now and they say that -- it's showing that he was last spotted in Italy -- Venice, Italy. Can you imagine that? He's all the way in Europe. And in about 20 seconds he's going to be headed for Croatia. That's another country in Europe. It's one of the European countries. So it's close to Italy and all that, but it's still in Europe.

ANTHONY: Can you come visit me in Texas?

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah, he's heading your way. He's heading your way. But you know what, Santa doesn't come until you're fast asleep. You do know that, right?

ANTHONY: Yeah, I was talking about you trying to visit me.

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, me come to visit you. (Laughter.) Well, I don't know if I'm going to be able to come and visit before Christmas tomorrow, but if ever I find myself in Texas next year -- and I know I'm going to be coming to Texas one time next year -- hopefully we can see each other then. How does that sound?

ANTHONY: Will you come to my house?

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah, I don't know if I can come to your house. I might not be able to do that. But I'll be keeping an eye on you, though.

ANTHONY: How about my school?

MRS. OBAMA: Your school -- maybe your school. What school do you go to?

ANTHONY: (Inaudible).

MRS. OBAMA: All right, well, I'm going to tell my assistant right now. What part of Texas are you from?

ANTHONY: Fort Worth.

MRS. OBAMA: You're at Fort Worth? I was in Fort Worth last year. So maybe we can come back. But until then, I want you to have a merry Christmas, okay Anthony?

ANTHONY: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, you give your family my best -- what did you say, babe?

ANTHONY: Can I talk to your husband?

MRS. OBAMA: He's not here right now. (Laughter.) But you know what, I will tell him that you asked about him. Okay?

ANTHONY: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. You keep being a good kid. Work hard in school, okay?

ANTHONY: Okay. Tell your daughters I said Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA: I sure will. Thank you so much. You give your family my best, okay? You give them all a Merry Christmas from all of the Obamas, okay?

ANTHONY: Okay. Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, bye-bye.

ANTHONY: Bye-bye.

* * * * *

MRS. OBAMA: Hello?

MR. POST: Hello.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, this is Michelle Obama. How are you?

MR. POST: Oh, good, how are you?

MRS. OBAMA: I'm doing great. I'm here helping out the satellite folks to keep track of Santa. I hear there's a young man, Griffin, who's interested in finding out where Santa is.

MR. POST: Yeah, let me pass you over to Griffin.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, thanks so much.

GRIFFIN: Hello.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Griffin?

GRIFFIN: Me and my sister would like to --

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, who else is there? It's Griffin -- what's your sister's name?

GRIFFIN: Sophia (sp).

MRS. OBAMA: Sophia. How old are you both?

GRIFFIN: Well, I'm eight and she's five.

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah? It's a pretty exciting night tonight, isn't it, huh?

GRIFFIN: Yep.

MRS. OBAMA: Are you guys ready for Santa to come?

GRIFFIN: Yeah.

MRS. OBAMA: How are you feeling? Are you bubbling with excitement?

GRIFFIN: Yeah.

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah? Well, what do you think you -- what's the one thing you want Santa to bring you tomorrow?

GRIFFIN: I want him to bring me a glow-in-the-dark football.

MRS. OBAMA: A glow-in-the-dark football? Are you a football fan?

GRIFFIN: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Who's your favorite team?

GRIFFIN: The Vikings.

MRS. OBAMA: The Vikings. How are they doing? Are they having a good season?

GRIFFIN: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: That's good. And what about your sister? What does she want?

GRIFFIN: Sophia, what do you want?

SOPHIA: An Easy Bake.

MRS. OBAMA: An Easy Bake oven?

GRIFFIN: Yep.

MRS. OBAMA: That was one of my favorite toys when I was little. I loved having my Easy Bake oven. Well, have you guys been good this year?

GRIFFIN: Yep.

MRS. OBAMA: Well, I bet you're going to have a great Christmas tomorrow. You want to know where Santa is? Because I'm helping out today with the satellite folks who keep track of where Santa is. You want me to tell you what I'm seeing on the chart here?

GRIFFIN: Yep.

MRS. OBAMA: They said that -- it's showing that Santa was last spotted all the way in Bosnia. That's a country in Europe. He's all the way on the other side of the world right now. And then he's headed for Serbia. But he's on his way to you guys pretty soon, but he doesn't get there until you're fast asleep. You do know that, right?

GRIFFIN: Yep.

MRS. OBAMA: So you guys have to go to bed on time tonight and close your eyes and go fast asleep. And when you wake up in the morning he'll be there -- or he will have come.

GRIFFIN: All right.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay. Well, you guys, thanks for calling, and I hope you have a very, merry Christmas. And give your family my best, okay? You tell them I said Merry Christmas, all right?

GRIFFIN: Okay, bye.

MRS. OBAMA: All right, bye-bye.

* * * * *

MRS. OBAMA: Hi!

CHILDREN: Hi!

MRS. OBAMA: How are you guys doing over there? Are you excited about Christmas tomorrow?

CHILD: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah? Are you guys going to go to bed on time tonight so that Santa can come?

CHILD: Mm-hmm.

MRS. OBAMA: Mm-hmm. You want to know where they've last spotted Santa?

CHILD: Yes.

MRS. OBAMA: I'm looking at the satellite right now and they're showing that Santa and his sleigh, with all the reindeer, including Rudolph, was last spotted in a country called Bosnia, which is all the way in Europe. And after he -- it looks like he's moving pretty fast; that once he leaves Bosnia he's going to head over to another country nearby called Serbia. So he's all the way in Europe right now. But he's heading your way. He's going to be heading to the United States and coming down through Kentucky. By the time you go to bed tonight he'll make it there. Sounds pretty cool, huh?

CHILD: Mm-hmm.

MRS. OBAMA: You want to know how many gifts he's delivered so far?

CHILD: Yeah.

MRS. OBAMA: More than 3 billion gifts. Isn't that a lot?

CHILD: Yeah.

MRS. OBAMA: He's working so hard, Santa is. Three billion gifts already and he's not done yet. All right, so you guys have to get some rest, okay?

CHILD: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: And when you wake up in the morning Santa Claus will have been there, right?

CHILD: Mm-hmm.

MRS. OBAMA: All right. Well, you guys have a merry Christmas, okay?

CHILD: You, too.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, thanks for calling. And give your family our best, okay?

CHILD: Okay.

MRS. OBAMA: Bye-bye.

END 12:35 P.M. HAST

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets

Video

Lynn Sweet

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

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 24, 2012 10:07 PM.

7 days to the fiscal cliff was the previous entry in this blog.

6 days to the fiscal cliff is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.