On Wednesday night, President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney will go head to head in Denver in the first debate of the 2012 presidential general election. But the night is also important to the president for another reason: It’s his 20th wedding anniversary with wife Michelle.
The two were married on Oct. 3, 1992, by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, after three years of dating. As it happened, that was just one week before another important presidential debate: the first to be held among Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and President George H. W. Bush.
In an episode of “The View” that aired on Wednesday, the President and first lady made an appearance and discussed their plans to celebrate the milestone.
“Oct. 3rd, your 20th wedding anniversary, is the night of the first debate… so how are you going to celebrate?” asked Barbara Walters. “Go figure,” said Michelle, sighing. “Well I think we’re gonna try on Saturday – we’re gonna be doing something, as opposed to the actual anniversary,” responded the president.
The president and first lady are also using the anniversary for some additional publicity and fundraising. To help the first couple ring in two decades of married bliss, senior political aide David Axelrod has been encouraging supporters to sign an anniversary card, reported the New York Times.
“Let’s take a moment to show Barack and Michelle that we wish them well in life, not just in politics,” said Axelrod.
“Add your name to the card today,” he said, supplying a link to the online card, before adding, “More than 3 million people like you power this campaign. If you can, please donate today.”
In addition to sharing their postponed anniversary plans on “The View,” Michelle Obama also revealed that she had actually forgotten their first anniversary together. "He asked me, 'Well, what are we going to do on Saturday?' And I go, 'What's Saturday?' And it was our anniversary -- I forgot." "Cold,” chimed in Barack.
The Obamas have also publicly spoken about their first date together and early romance. According to a 2007 interview he gave with O, The Oprah Magazine, the couple spent went out for an ice cream together on their first date, before seeing the Spike Lee movie “Do The Right Thing.”
“On our first date, I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin-Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as the curb. I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate.”
A plaque now stands outside of the Chicago Baskin-Robbins where the couple shared their first kiss.