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Michelle Obama: At the dinner table, the president is just dad

President Obama has been holed away for the past several days preparing for his second debate against Mitt Romney. But he still calls in from the road every night, his wife told TODAY.

“Our check-in is really about the kids. He wants to know what did we talk about at dinner? How is Sasha doing? What happened at basketball? Did Malia win her game?” she told Ryan Seacrest in an interview that aired Tuesday.

Obama said her husband goes out of his way to make sure his family's experience in public life is as easy as possible.

“I am always astounded when I read in the paper or I talk to some advisers and I find out what he's actually dealt with in any given day. When we sit down to dinner, you know, he lets that all go for that moment,” she said. “He is there for me. He is there for Sasha and Malia. And he's there as a dad.”

A week earlier during a roundtable interview, Obama revealed that her daughters have little interest in their father’s re-election campaign or his political life.

“They are so far removed from this world. They don’t ask about the election. They don’t care,” she said at the time.

The first daughters have traveled to extraordinary places throughout the world and met global leaders such as Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, the Queen of England and others very few get to mingle with.

“This is their playlist of meeting people. That’s why, you know, when people ask me, ‘Oh, the kids, how do they manage? We feel so bad. They have normal lives?’ You know, this has been a wonderful experience for them,” Obama said. “There’s no way that they or us or anyone could complain about the minor inconveniences that come along with being the president’s daughters.”

Asked how she believes the president will return the support and sacrifice she has provided once they leave the White House, Obama said her husband already shows his encouragement by giving her discretion in her campaigns to fight childhood obesity and improve the lives of military families.

“When we leave here, I want to continue working on those issues. But who knows? You never know what the future holds,” she said. “And who knows what life will look like in another five years when this is over? And I know that whatever I do, he'll be right there with me, as he always has been.”

Charles Dharapak / AP

The first lady looks as sophisticated in designer dresses as she does in outfits from J. Crew.

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