New podcast proves to be more than politics

written by: Mariette Waterhouse, staff writer
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In January of 2017, Barack Obama made his last speech as acting President of the United States, and with it, he and his family left the White House. However, the Obamas have stayed active in the public eye, whether it be making public statements about politics, releasing books or making a podcast.

The Michelle Obama Podcast was released in 2020 during the summer lockdown. 

From bringing up the pandemic to discussing the current social climate, Mrs. Obama doesn’t stray away from confrontation. It’s refreshing in a way; she doesn’t ignore social issues and chooses instead to make them a major topic of conversation  in her podcast.

The immediate feeling you get from The Michelle Obama Podcast is familiarity. If you’ve listened to a podcast before, you’d know it’s the feeling the listener gets from the host that sets the tone for the show. That being said, Mrs. Obama creates an environment different from any other podcast I have listened to. 

Perhaps it’s simply because Michelle Obama is the former first lady of one of the most groundbreaking administrations of all time, or maybe it’s because Michelle Obama herself makes you feel like you’re sitting next to her and having a conversation like you’ve known each other for years.

In her opening nine-minute introduction that was released before any of her episodes, she tells the listeners a story about a jukebox and a jazz score. 

This jazz score follows the series throughout each episode. Every break and introduction is played through by a jazz arrangement complimentary to Mrs. Obama’s story about her upbringing in the Chicago suburbs. 

In her first episode she talks to her husband, former President Barack Obama. The immediate energy you feel from the couple is love. These two joke laugh and talk with each other about moments that have affected them. 

You don’t feel like an outsider listening to the former first lady and president talking — you feel like they are your friends.

It’s almost as though they’re at a social event, a barbecue or maybe even a family dinner. The Obamas are telling stories which make a connection that runs through the episode and to the listener. 

Her second episode is with her good friend and award winning journalist Michele Norris. They talk about what it’s like in the current social climate and what it was like growing up. 

Again it inspires a nostalgic feeling for the listener. You aren’t just listening to two very intelligent women — you’re having a conversation with them.

That’s not to say the podcast is without any faults, however. At times it can be dry and for those who have a hard time focusing, it may be difficult to listen to. 

However, the host herself is reason enough to keep listening. The listener can pause and return hours later and still be able to follow what she is saying.

All in all, The Michelle Obama Podcast is a worthwhile listening experience for people of all backgrounds. Listening to insightful conversations between all the guests she has on the show is a great way to spend free time and help expand one’s view of the world.