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First Lady Michelle Obama chatted with Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert about Joining Forces, the project she runs with Jill Biden that’s set up to help military families.

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In the sit-down appearance on Wednesday night’s The Colbert Report, Obama revealed that the initiative, which helps men and women in the armed services find employment and reenter civilian society, has reached its one-year anniversary.

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She also mentioned that the project, whose website is, has made an impact but that work still needs to be done to further get the number of unemployed veterans down to zero.

Obama explained:

“These people are bringing in skills that actually improve the bottom line of companies. Because these are some of the most highly trained, highly skilled, disciplined people that we have in our society, the best this country has to offer.”

Meanwhile Colbert tempered his usual snarkiness with a more respectful interview approach. Recalling that the last time he interviewed Obama in 2008 was before she moved into the White House, Colbert took some credit for her success saying “that’s the Colbert bump.” He also dubbed himself “First Gentleman of Colbert Nation.

He also quipped that veterans would make great co-workers because they could put any petty office drama in much-need perspective.

Obama replied:

“It’s hard to be a whiner around a veteran.”

In the second part of the interview, Colbert asked Obama why she even decided to focus her work as a First Lady on helping military families in the first place. She explained:

“When I was campaigning I got to meet these military families. I was travelling around talking to mostly spouses and I was awed by their sacrifice. These folks are moving more than any average American does. They’re expected sometimes, their children are changing schools nine, ten times in the entire educational career. The thing that struck me is that they do it with grace, without complaint. I was inspired. I said on the campaign trail that if I had the opportunity to serve in this role, that I would try to be their voice and tell their stories.”

Colbert also touched on Obama’s appearance on iCarly and concluded by asking if her she was endorsing Barack Obama.

To that, the First Lady only had one response:

“I am endorsing Barack Obama. I think he’ll be a great president. He’s my man!”


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Brett Johnson is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based writer and the founder of the music and culture blog