For his first visit to the Ellen DeGeneres Show since taking office, President Obama kept political shop talk to a minimum and focused instead on the more meaningful lessons he’s learned while in the White House: like how he avoids fights with the first lady.
“After about 15 years, I finally figured out that she’s always right,” he said Thursday while taping an appearance set to air the next day. “So then surprisingly we just stopped fighting after that.”
The Obamas will spend Valentine’s Day apart this year, with the president staying the weekend in California to prepare for a meeting Monday of Southeast Asian leaders. So with the help of DeGeneres, he recorded a virtual valentine in an area of the stage that featured a red velvet backdrop and rose petals strewn across the floor.
“Somebody call the Situation Room because things are about to get hot,” Obama said, later telling his wife: “I love you so much. I ObamaCare about you more than you even know.”
The president’s message followed a surprise video appearance by Michelle Obama, who recited a special poem for husband.
“Roses are red, violets are blue. You are the president, and I am your boo,” she said.
Later, the president addressed the impending departure of the couple’s older daughter, Malia, a high-school senior who leaves for college in the fall.
“She’s one of my best friends. It’s going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time. But she’s ready to go. You can tell,” he said. “She’s just a really smart, capable person. She’s ready to make her own way.”
Obama’s visit represented the first sitting president to appear as a guest on the show. He last paid a visit to the program in October 2007, when he was an Ill. senator just beginning his White House campaign.
He told DeGeneres this time around that he doesn’t miss campaigning except for one part.
“It’s always good to get out of Washington, which can sometimes be a little depressing,” he said.
“To get out of Washington? Or what part is depressing?” DeGeneres asked.
“Well, Washington,” he quipped.
This article first appeared on TODAY.com.