FLOTUS’s parenting prescription for Justin Bieber woes
By: Jennifer Epstein
February 7, 2014 05:00 PM EST
First lady Michelle Obama’s advice to Justin Bieber’s mother is to spend lots of time with her son and get to know who he’s hanging out with, the self-proclaimed “mom-in-chief” said in an interview released Friday.
“I would pull him close,” Obama said of the 19-year-old pop singer in an interview with Univision, when asked how she’d guide the troubled pop star right now if she were his mom. “I don’t know if it would be advice as much as action. I would be very present in his life right now. And I would be probably with him a good chunk of the time, just there to talk, to figure out what’s going on in his head, to figure out who’s in his life and who’s not, you know.”
She added that she’s seen that her kids “just want you near, you know, they want that advice from a parent. They want to see you on a daily basis” and because Bieber is “still a kid, he’s still growing up,” that lesson applies. The singer has faced multiple arrests, and reports of drug and alcohol use.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, the first lady was also asked about how she and the president keep romance in their relationship.
“Yeah, well, you gotta get creative,” she said. “But, you know, our home is very private — you know, the residence where we live. I mean, it’s not like we’ve got people standing around over us every second of the day. But, you know, the president has to be as creative as any man out there needs to be at this time. But this year we’ll probably low-key it in the White House. I just had a wonderful big birthday party and I, you know, I think he’s done his part to show me how much he loves me so he’s off the hook this year.”
Obama also discussed the president’s style, and said he’s responsible for it. “We may criticize, laugh, joke, push, cajole, but in the end, you know, he’s the one that’s making the decisions about his look,” she said.
Turning to policy, the first lady pointed to continuing efforts to encourage some of the 10.2 million uninsured Latinos to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. “It is so important now that health care is available at an affordable rate that folks in our communities access it,” she said.
Obama was also asked about the constant scrutiny that she and her family face, and said that she’s come to accept it.
“You know, that’s just a part of public life. And, you know, our motto is that we do what we think is right. We stay prayerful,” she said. “You know, we have probably just as many, if not more, people praying for our safety and … our strengths as we do any naysayers out there, so we focus on the positive and we’re here to do a job, you know, and giving people access to affordable health care is one of those jobs.”