Thursday 23 November 2017

Michelle Obama given CV of jobless man by girl at White House

First lady Michelle Obama hugs Charlotte Bell (10), who gave the first lady her father's resume and said he had been out of work for three years, as Michelle Obama was speaking with children of Executive Office employees at the White House's annual Take
Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in Washington yesterday. Reuters
First lady Michelle Obama hugs Charlotte Bell (10), who gave the first lady her father's resume and said he had been out of work for three years, as Michelle Obama was speaking with children of Executive Office employees at the White House's annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in Washington yesterday. Reuters

Damien McElroy

Michelle Obama was taken aback and visibly moved as she was handed the resume of a man who has been unemployed for three years at a White House event to mark take your children to work day.

The girl, named as Charlotte Bell, 10, pressed the single sheet of paper into the First Lady's hands and quietly explained the family's desperation at her father's lack of employment prospects.

"My dad's been out of a job for three years and I wanted to give you his resume,” the young girl quietly said.

Mrs Obama, who was presiding over the event while her husband Barack, the US president, travels in Asia, took the paper and whispered to the girl out of earshot of the microphone. Embracing the girl, she caused other members of the audience to wonder why the heartfelt scene was being played out. Some of the children cried out, 'why'.

“Well it's a little private, but she's doing something for her dad, right?,” said the First Lady said. “Got it.”

At the close of the event, the First Lady was seen taking the paper of the table and clutching it tightly, she gave the girl another hug to assure her that her plea had registered.

The First Lady also talked about what excited her about being in the White House. She was asked if she missed her old job as a lawyer.

“I think this is a pretty cool job,” the First Lady told a boy called Thomas. “But sometimes I miss like a normal life, right? Without security guards. Sometimes I miss being able to walk out the door and go wherever I want to whenever I want to. Sometimes I miss, walking around where nobody even cares whether you're there, right?”

However she said that while the first couple occasionally have fantasies of escaping, the thrill of living in the White House was second to none.

“Sometimes we – me and the President – we dream about sneaking out of the White House and going to have ice cream and nobody really knowing who we are,” she said. “But the truth is I have a really cool job. I mean I get to have an effect on issues that really matter, and there are few jobs in the world that I could say I could ever do that.”

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