Michelle Obama: ‘The Oscar, Argo’

Photograph by Pete Souza/White House

First Lady Michelle Obama

On a night of celebrities answering the question — “Who are you wearing?” — the announcement of the Academy Award for the best motion picture came from someone wearing a gown straight from a dinner of the nation’s governors in the White House.

White House photographer Pete Souza was ready for first lady Michelle Obama’s surprise announcement of the Oscar for “Argo,” following a formal dinner that she and President Barack Obama hosted at the White House for the National Governors Association.

There is a White House nexus to this saga, after all — seeing as the 1979 taking of American hostages from the U.S. embassy in Tehran served as the backdrop for the Ben Affleck film about the freeing of a select group who had escaped during the raid on the embassy and found refuge in another’s residence, and seeing as the general plot surrounding those 444 days of captivity for 52 Americans and a failed rescue mission for them was instrumental in the retirement of another president, Jimmy Carter.

Michelle Obama’s communications director, Kristina Schake, issued a statement: “The Academy Awards approached the First Lady about being a part of the ceremony. As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all — especially our young people — with their passion, skill and imagination.”

And for the record: The first lady was wearing Naeem Khan in her announcement broadcast live from the Diplomatic Room.


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